Book Review: Custodian (Monster of Earth #1) by Patrick F. Johnson

Frank Ford leads a simple life, balanced between working with his hands, or drinking with them. Life’s pretty mediocre, so when’s suddenly abducted by aliens, Frank doesn’t mind. This comes to a surprise to the aliens, who realize (after checking Frank over once or twice) that they’ve finally found their man. They’ve found a Custodian.

This is Sci-Fi adventure at its best. There’s evil aliens, good aliens, wonderfully advanced tech, awesome weapons, and only one person who can save the world: Frank (with some help). It’s wonderful to read and experience, and I was pulled into the story immediately. We learn much about Frank, about his previous life, about who he is as a person, and I enjoy a book with a good pace. I don’t want to be bogged down with too much ‘get to the point already’, and this book definitely doesn’t do that. But at the same time, I felt like maybe a few of the Sci-Fi aspects could have been given more attention. I wouldn’t mind to be served some more backstory, some history; but then again, I suppose that’s what the next three books in the series do.

Johnson’s writing is fun, light-hearted and easily accessible. I feel like I’d enjoy this book as a teenager, though maybe it’s not exactly aimed at that crowd. But it doesn’t try to go over your head, and I mean that in a good way. In one sense I want to say that it’s ‘simple’, but that’s not really what I mean. It’s just grounded. It’s cool, fun, exciting adventure, and it doesn’t pretend.

At the same time, the book really surprised me. Toward the end we get to see some action, and it’s the typical kind of Sci-Fi alien action scenes you’d imagine. It was coming to end, a kind of obvious end, and I was prepared for it. It’s what I knew the book had been about all the time, so I didn’t except anything else. But then it suddenly got deeper. Much deeper. I really didn’t see it coming, and I was really surprised. Johnson managed to carve out just a little more, something that really drove the nail home. I’m impressed.

This book hits all ends of the spectrum, so if you’re looking for an exciting, fun space adventure, with proper characters and a whole lot of story to tell, you should check this out. I’m happy to say I have all 4 books in the series, and I think I need to double check my TBR list.

You can find Patrick F. Johnson’s books here.

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