TITLE: Terminal Alliance - Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1.
AUTHOR: Jim C. Hines
From the blurb:
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know--your standard apocalypse.
The Krakau's first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it's hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they're no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.
Marion "Mops" Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she's in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.
Escaping the attacking aliens--not to mention her shambling crewmates--is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.
As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance... a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.
Terminal Alliance is a fast paced, humorous, science-fiction novel with an original alien cast and world building. It's not everyday that the janitorial team ends up in the spotlight or saves the galaxy with disinfectant, so this makes for an original book concept too. The main character is likeable, though the secondary cast are a bit flat (in this book anyway - maybe we learn more about them in following books?). The book cover is both funny and beautiful! This book was great fun and I'm looking forward to the next one.
NOTE: This book is a complete story, but "what happens next" will be covered in another book.