Ramon “Ray” Cosa’s life is not what he expected it to be. Living in a small Texas town ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, Ray has suffered many losses in his young life, and he has little hope left that anything will ever change or get better.
That is, until the vintage Ford Galaxie and its strange, dying owner enters Ray’s life. Given a jeweled ring he cannot remove and a desperate mission, Ray is plunged into a universe of secrets, wonders, and terrors he never dreamed exists.
Now, he travels the Queen’s Road – a hyper-space highway that connects all the planets and galaxies in creation – in search of one man, one of the Queen of the Universe’s Rangers. That journey will put Ray on the front lines of an eons-old cosmic war between the primal forces of order and chaos.
And probably make him late for his next shift at the Chug-n-Lug.
This was a really fun read! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one and picked it up because a couple of other bloggers I follow enjoyed it, glad I decided to give a it a try because it was a joy. This reminded me in some ways of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in that an ordinary person somehow gets swept up into the concerns of the universe but also Fast and the Furious because cars and crazy, impossible adventures!
This story asks, what if there’s a road that connects the universe? and then runs wild with that premise. Ray is a regular guy who has to make a tough choice due to the circumstances in which he’s found himself. But that choice changes his life forever because it gets him involved with the Rangers who travel The Queen’s Road. Suddenly he finds himself learning about things he never even knew existed and getting involved with saving planets, including his own. I found the entire premise of this to be extremely fun. It felt old school to me in some ways but also super modern as the story deals with things such as the current opioid epidemic that’s run rampant across the U.S. I loved the concept of a road that connects various planets throughout the universe. And of course visiting different planets and meeting various aliens was super fun–lot’s of creativity there!
The characters, however, are the heart of the story. Ray is such a likable guy! Even though his choice to do something wrong at the beginning of the story is the catalyst for everything that comes after, it’s clear that he’s a good person backed into a corner and spends the rest of the book trying to do the right thing. He loves his mom despite her not always being there for him, he tries to be understanding that her addiction is an illness. Then there’s Chain, another ranger who becomes a sort of mentor as well as friend to Ray when Ray is unexpectedly thrust into the role of Ranger. Chain takes Ray under his wing and shows him the ropes and some of the universe. There are ton of great characters in this book and I loved that some of them had unexpected sides to them.
The stakes on this one start out very personally and then expand, and then expand again. I love how things kept amping up and more people got involved as things progressed. I also loved that they had to assemble a crack team at a certain point because, let’s face it, I’m kind of a sucker for that. 😉 The pace of the story moves quickly along and things never get bogged down even when characters take a minute out of the relentless action to talk and bond.
Overall, I thought this was a fun ride. It’s a fast paced action adventure with a lot of fun characters sprinkled throughout. If you’re looking for something that has fun, action, adventure, heart, creativity….maybe check this one out. 4/5 stars.