Review: Bikini Planet by David Garnett

Bikini PlanetThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Humorous science fiction holds a favored place in many fans’ minds, and most will agree that the sub-genre’s grand master, the late Douglas Adams, set the bar pretty high.

David Garnett’s new novel, Bikini Planet, makes a rather unsuccessful foray into humor.

Rookie cop Wayne Norton doesn’t exactly fit into Las Vegas’s anything-goes atmosphere, and yet he’s involved with a former Mafia boss’s daughter. When Wayne saves his future father-in-law from assassination, his thanks are a clout to the head and a few centuries of suspended animation. He awakens 300 years later, and finds himself adrift in a whole new world, where radiation contaminates the land, and fashion apparently no longer exists.

Wayne ends up back in uniform, but finds he can barely operate his weapons, much less function as an officer. His new assignment, fighting over possession of vacation hot-spots, does seem to have some promise, though…

While this novel starts with an interesting premise, it quickly degenerates. Readers have only a few pages to get to know Wayne before he becomes, literally, a stranger in a strange land. It’s difficult to empathize with the character’s situation when you can’t relate to him. The rest of the cast also feels strangely one-dimensional.

Perhaps this stems partly from the story’s fixation on sex. Although the novel begins as an adventure tale, several events bring sex into the story for no significant reason. As such, the novel feels disjointed and without believability, and really doesn’t capture the reader’s attention.

Bikini Planet disappoints, and I quickly lost interest. When measured against other humorous novels, David Garnett’s latest effort falls flat.