Book Review ~ Camera Stelata – The Adventures of Hal by Derek Haines

This post was first published in November 2014

Book 2 of “The Glothic Tales” series
Publisher: Derek Haines
Publishing date: April 2011
Genre: science fiction, adventure
Formats: paperback, e-book
Source: own copy from Amazon Kindle

Bees: 5 of 6

About the story: 

Halbert Hoop, soon known as Hal doesn’t get on with his family. Especially his father is not amused about Hal’s behaviour. Better to disinherit him and ship him off to Australia. Hal does not mind. The laid back life style of Brisbane suits him to a T and when Narelle comes into the picture life is perfect for Hal.

But this would not be a good story if everything would stay like that: He looses everything, finds out he cannot escape is inheritance even though his father had disinherited him and that with that comes duties which are extremely boring and despicable if you play by the rules. But Hal does not play by the rules and ends up in the adventure of his life time.

About the author: 

Derek Haines was born in Australia and has made his way to Switzerland where he lives, writes and teaches now. His love for Douglas Adams can be easily recognised in his science fiction farce “The Glothic Tales” while his blog posts about self-publishing are a constant well of information and inspiration to the apprentice writer. Let’s not forget Whizzbuzz where he brings readers and writers together for a joyful ride through new and old books. Besides science fiction there are all sorts of genres to be found that he tried his hand on, which all give a great read as his main interest is in his characters and how they live, love, suffer and survive.

Honey bees in the book:

I know it is a bit of a funny way to start reviewing a series with the second book but that is who I am: I hardly ever read a series starting with the first book. I usually start with book 7 go back to 2 just to continue with number 5 and get totally confused with all the characters and plot lines. But I digress: This time I have read book 1 first, it is just such a long time ago, that I dare not review it before I have reread it.

Book 2, on the other hand, I have just read and I have enjoyed the ride as much as February the 5th’s odyssey through the future and past in book 1. Hal is as much laid back as February and his journeys are as hair raising: from foggy England to sunny Australia to uninviting Gloth and Terranova II and back to Australia.

He meets strangely helpful aliens who rather want the still monkey-like humans kept on Earth rather than having them roam the universe. I could not decide if I liked these aliens or if I despised them. So realistic was their belittling of the human race and so funny the view that humans are only there for killing each other and making money. However, I like it when characters are ambivalent as it makes for a much more interesting read than cliched heroes and villains.

Derek Haines employs similar humour in “The Glothic Tales”  than Douglas Adams and also plot twists that can only make you laugh: Deus ex Machina’s in entirely unique fashions!

Stinging Bees in the book:

For me, the only real stinging bee is introductions which last a little too long. I thought both in “February the 5th” and “Camera Stelata ~ The Adventure of Hal” needed a long time until the hero got on his way into space but that journey was not long enough for me. I would have enjoyed more of the adventures in space. I did not feel that “Luis” or “One Last Love”, which are not science fiction, novels had the same problem. But I suspect that is only me :-).

And the mead of it all?

Derek Haines is a versatile writer, who is able to entertain you in many genres. His “Glothic Tales” are a fun read with a comic and sometimes a little sarcastic view on humankind in all its glory. If you like Douglas Adams you like Derek Haines. If you like comedy in science fiction you like “The Glothic Tales”. This is a series that entertains you brilliantly and you can come back to reading it time after time.

Want more of Derek Haines and his books? Look here:

Author page: derekhaines.ch
Amazon author page: Derek Haines 
Goodreads author page: Derek Haines

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