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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Book Review: The Chosen Twelve by James Breakwell


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: James Breakwell is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls, ages ten and under. He is best known for his family humor Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, which has more than a million followers. He has published three comedy parenting books that explore hot button issues like the benefits of doing as little as possible and the best ways to protect your child from zombie attacks. 

Publisher: Solaris (January 18, 2022) Length: 384 pages Cover art: 


The Chosen Twelve opens with a bang and rarely slows down. Things happen on the last interstellar colony ship. Robots "deleted" some humans, but 22 of them are still breathing. The problem? Only 12 seats on the lander needed to colonize the planet below and reboot the species.

Humans, named after letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Phi, Sigma, Omicron, etc.), tend to focus on all the wrong things and ask too many questions. Robots, on the other hand, are programmed to kill each other. Not to mention that AI has taken over human education, and protagonists don't think like we do. Nor do they follow the same moral code.

As expected, the conflict between the humans starts to boil. Expect casualties. Delta, one of the top-performing humans, has her view on things, and the story revolves around her plans (more or less - there are A LOT of characters).

It's pitched as "The Hunger Games meets Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" and "Lord of the Flies meets Philip K Dick." Sounds good, but it's not accurate. Although to be fair, it has dark and absurd humor and contestants fighting for a limited number of seats.

I enjoyed the dast pace, witty dialogue, and Breakwells' inventiveness. Even though the story often borders on the absurd, it's still thoughtful and exciting. On the other hand, I didn't care for characters with 22 people and a relatively narrow focus on each of them. Spencer or Delta get more screentime and are pretty fun, though.

The Chosen Twelve is many things, including sci-fi, survival, and dark comedy. There's a hell of a lot going on here, but it had me gripped. Most of the time.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you read any indie writers lately? Eg. Charles Moffat, Dan Fitzgerald, Dylan Doose, etc?

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