Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Lost at L3 by Douglas Phillips, Bryant Phillips
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Published by Tantor Audio on August 16, 2022
Genres: Humor, Science Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 42 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook
Lost at the far side of the sun, two pilots, five space tourists, and one fluffy dog explore a miniature planet steeped in mystery. The planet is small enough to circumnavigate in a few hours. Treetop clouds form in unusual shapes. And what’s that rumble each morning? Even their remarkably perceptive pup hasn’t figured that one out. Will they be marooned forever? It will take scientific ingenuity and a good sense of humor, but these marginally clever castaways stand a chance. And even if they don’t make it home, being lost was never more fun.
An earnest new first officer, a laid-back captain, a sketchy group of passengers in an older space shuttle on a tourist space flight… what could go wrong? If you started hearing the theme song to a certain popular TV show about a castaway boat on a deserted isle then you aren’t far off the beam. I was in the mood for a light-hearted sci-fi comedy and seeing a familiar narrator, I didn’t hesitate to snatch this one up and it was well worth the chance when my amusement rose from the earliest moments.
Lost at L3 is a near future, frolicking sci-fi adventure for a group of people who are meant to take a little space cruise up above earth, see some planets and have an experience before returning to the landing pad for Megladon Industries in sunny Florida. Instead, a mysterious encounter with a fast moving unidentified object in space pulls them along in its wake and launches them well past what their little short-range shuttle can handle and sends them on what looks to be a one-way trip to the unknown.
There’s a bit of adventure, mystery, and laughs as they do what they can to survive and the hardest part is actually getting along. Earnest first officer on her first of three trial flights to earn her captain’s bars doesn’t let a little thing about getting lost in space keep her from a professional, can-do spirit, laid back captain hoping to retire to a life of sunny, lazy days isn’t in the mood to take charge of a doomed situation, a bubbly flight attendant on holiday, a mind-blowingly brilliant scientist, a hazy amnesiac, a secretive sharp-tongued woman who hints she’s some sort of government operative, and an abrasive wilderness survivalist all make for a volatile band of castaways just wanting to get back to earth though the odd little planet does have its challenges, quirks, and plenty of sources to keep them alive.
Lost at L3 was fun, but also took its time through the intro to the large cast of characters giving them each a chance at narration and filling in their backstories as they coped with their situation. Yes, it has a Gilligan’s Island feel and there is definitely a strong motif in situation and characters, but only up to a point. This isn’t a retelling and the latter portion of the book takes things in a whole new, suspenseful direction that had been foreshadowed well in the first half. I preferred the pace and advancement of plot going on with the second half, but the first half wasn’t lacking especially at first when it has a good interest making opening set of scenes. This is one that the listener/reader should definitely be aware that it’s comedy and not meant to be taken seriously, yet it does have some good science present as well as delightful quirky characters developed well and forming new relationships.
All in all, it did what it set out to do. I was highly entertained and would enjoy more of the sort if the father-son chose to collaborate again. Sci-fi Comedy fans should definitely give it a go.
Amanda Ronconi does a good job with light and humorous stories and she did a good job with a large cast of main characters.
Listen to clip: HERE
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