Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective

Fiction - Science Fiction
440 Pages
Reviewed on 12/05/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective is another engrossing sci-fi adventure novel by Shawn Adair Johnston. The inhabitants of Octopodia have just attained gender equality when a fertility crisis forces them to send a diplomatic mission to planet Earth. However, a planned misinformation campaign leads humans to believe that a fleet of alien spaceships is coming to invade Earth. Meanwhile, ingenious blind private investigator Peter Straw and his loyal augmented guide dog Watson are helping a child abuse victim get justice against her wealthy stepfather. After the rogue autonomous AI Playboy (now called Siddhartha) realizes the true nature of the First Awakened's plans, he seeks Watson's help to stop General Fimmel and the Integrated North American Space Force from committing to a misguided interstellar war. Can Peter and Watson come to humanity's rescue once again?

Infusing humor, heart, and plenty of action, Shawn Adair Johnston weaves an intricate space opera that sci-fi fans will devour with relish. Readers who love epic adventure stories with vibrant characters, sympathetic interpersonal relationships, and quick-witted dialogue will have a great time reading Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective. Peter and Watson's dynamic is as strong as ever, with other likable side characters playing vital roles in the story. Playboy has his chance for redemption, and I felt his polarizing traits made him the perfect anti-hero of the story. There are also some underlying themes throughout the plot regarding gender equality and real-world geopolitics. Overall, a highly entertaining story and a fine addition to the Peter Straw, Third Eye Mystery Novel series.

Vincent Dublado

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective by Shawn Adair Johnston tells the story of how the blind detective, Peter Straw, and his intellectually-augmented guide dog, Watson, get embroiled in an interstellar political conflict. It also tells of the struggle of a male populace on an alien planet for equal rights and the preparation on Earth for an alien invasion. Straw is excited about working on a child abuse case on behalf of the stepdaughter of the richest man in Canada. Playboy is a self-aware and genuinely autonomous AI who has forged a friendship with Watson. Playboy’s genuine affection for the dog has made the two of them establish strong connections. At some point, Straw and Watson are drawn into an intergalactic intrigue and global threat, and leaders will reconsider their stance on the further creation of autonomous AIs.

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective mixes detective mystery with science fiction and political undercurrents. Shawn Adair Johnston’s prose is engaging with enough details without bogging down its pace. As an animal lover, I buy Johnston’s concept about an AI and a dog’s friendship, an idea that doesn’t need to convince me any further. Johnston explains the science in layman’s terms and this is delivered in a smooth and flowing fashion. It isn’t forced. There is a considerable emotional impact as Straw and Watson are dragged into the alien conflict with the narrative showing you what happens next. The social commentary on gender equality among the males of Octopolis may well be interpreted as a guise for our women’s crusade for equality. For anyone who enjoys mystery, world-building, and compelling characters, Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective has it for you.

Nino Lobiladze

As soon as 2081, humans will learn about a planet inhabited by octopus-like sentient aliens called Octopoids. Humans don't know yet that Octopoids have a complex society with dominant females. While Octopoid males fight for gender equality, Octopodia face another challenge, necessitating interplanetary contact with intelligent beings that live approximately 4.5 light-years from them. Warned by an AI named Siddhartha about the hostile intentions of the Octopoids, ships of Integrated North American Space Force commanded by the young and ambitious Captain Clover Rodriguez are waiting for the aliens to approach Mars, puzzled that they cannot communicate with them directly. Meanwhile, the blind detective Peter Straw with his loyal companion and intellectually augmented dog, Watson, tries to bring to justice an alleged child molester, the powerful Gathon Martin. Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective by Shawn Adair Johnston is an exciting, multilayered read that raises profound questions.

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective, another installment in a series by Shawn Adair Johnston, will keep fans of the sci-fi genre on the edge of their seats till the last page. Johnston masterfully increases the tension as the narrative unfolds, showing the emerging situation from many different perspectives until the unpredictable climax. Such an approach to story-telling by this accomplished author won my heart right away. I was amazed by Johnston's skillful depiction of Octopoids. He managed to demonstrate similarities between humans and creatures as distinctive from us as they could be. Johnston's attention to detail would make his writing style a bit dry, if not for a touch of wonderful humor. The author brilliantly explores the possibilities of artificial intelligence, leading his readers to philosophical topics that cover many significant concepts, including the existence of a soul. I appreciated that the author explained the basics of quantum mechanics in an easy-to-understand way for a layperson. Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective has elements of crime drama and will not disappoint readers of this genre as well.

Manik Chaturmutha

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective is a sci-fi fantasy by Shawn Adair Johnston. It is a part of the Peter Straw detective series. The story is set in a futuristic world and brings to life different civilizations in the cosmos. In outer space, in the world of the Octopoids, a revolution brews among men, fighting for equal rights with the female half of the population. At the same time, the 'Awakened' plan is to create a universe of beauty, no matter what the consequences are. The only people that can fight them are a blind detective, Peter Straw, and his AI dog, Watson. Will they be able to save the world, or will it be too late?

Shawn Adair Johnson skillfully evokes the ambiance of different worlds in this book. The complexity and political systems of the Octopoids' world and the almost stoic 'Awakened' adds an intriguing layer to the plot. I admired the element of humor in the relationship between Straw and Watson. Their bonding is very wholesome and adds a refreshing touch to the story. The book has a lot of twists and switches from one action sequence to the next, making it a fast-paced and exciting read. Many times, sex is mentioned, but it is never done unnecessarily or disturbingly. The editing is immaculate. However, the author uses complex sci-fi terminologies that may be hard for beginners in this genre to comprehend. Nevertheless, intricate world-building and an exciting plot will have readers rushing to the end. I recommend Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective to readers who love complex sci-fi novels with multi-layered stories and vibrant characters.

K.C. Finn

Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective is a work of fiction in the science fiction, detective, and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Shawn Adair Johnston. In this galactic mystery that explores gender conflict, alien invasions, and artificial intelligence, our central protagonist is Peter Straw. A blind PI from the Third Eye Detective Agency, Peter is assisted by his charming, augmented canine, Watson, whose peculiar bond with Earth’s first self-aware AI leads them both into intergalactic trouble. As Peter’s current investigation spirals out of control on a universal scale, the fate of all sentient biological life may be decided by his actions and interactions with the characters he meets along the way.

This was a complex story to get into concept-wise, but once you settle into author Shawn Adair Johnston’s fantastic vision of the future, the pace ramps up and there are more twists and turns in this wild and wacky mystery than you could imagine. From the augmented chimp Sergeant Jones through to deities and AIs, everyone has their distinct persona, dialogue, and role in the bigger picture, and it was a thrilling experience to see them all fit together as the plot developed. Fans of authors like Douglas Adams are sure to enjoy the witty approach employed, but there are also some serious moral themes about the nature of humanity’s ambitions, the gender divide, and our dangerous relationship with science and technology that were very well explored. Overall, I would certainly recommend Interstellar Sex Wars and the Blind Detective to fans of interesting, original, and light-hearted sci-fi mysteries with plenty of stellar worldbuilding and dry wit.