The Syndicate Volume 1
by Jules Jones and Alex Woolgrave, futuristic (2004)
Loose Id, $4.99, ISBN 1-59632-034-6


The Syndicate Volume 1 is a big old gay romantic romp in a spacecraft. The spacecraft is called Mary Sue, probably as a big middle finger to detractors who may be tempted to call this story a Star Trek-wannabe. What else can you say about a book where characters unapologetically tell people, "Welcome aboard the Mary Sue"? Not that I am ever so predictable as to call it that, of course.

Our hero Allard decides to answer an ad by "the Syndicate" looking for an IT Specialist. Even if the Syndicate offers a part-share instead of unbelievable job perks, Allard is so tired of dealing with technology-challenged twits in his current workplace that he decides that he may as well opt for a change of scenery. He is soon bumping uglies with the hot captain Vaughan.

Nothing much really happens on The Syndicate Volume 1 other than some middling soap opera taking place on the Mary Sue so I really have to be enamored of the cast to enjoy the story. The science-fiction aspect of the story takes a backseat to the daily antics of Vaughan and Allard, which is a pity in my opinion since the setting of the story is one begging for at least an alien invasion or two instead of Allard wondering how some computer virus ends up in Harry's computer.

The sedate pacing aside, I have a problem with Allard. He's not an interesting character. He's, in fact, a bit of a nag, constantly being stand-offish and arrogant as if he's much better than everyone else. I have no idea why anyone would even want to kiss up to this fellow since he comes off like a too-good-for-you self-absorbed twit too often.

Because nothing much happens in this book, I find it too easy to put this book aside. Allard comes off like some pretentious young brat who thinks he knows everything there is to know in this world while the remaining cast aren't well-drawn enough to be interesting. I hope the next installment in the series will be the one where the party finally starts because this one is frankly a snooze.

Rating: 53


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