Published by DW on March 25th 2022
There was no room for puny humans in the arena alongside the galaxy’s mightiest warriors... until now.
Coop Sabre, along with his exploding barbed wire bat, Guy, has turned the galaxy upside down, taking crowds across the galaxy by storm. The brutal bloodsport of alien deathmatches was no place for the average person, but nothing about Coop and his reckless fighting style was average.
Join Coop as he battles it out for galactic supremacy in the INTERGALACTIC DEATHMATCH.
He is the INTERGALACTIC BASTARD.
Intergalactic Bastard by Dave Walsh is one of the six quarter-finalists for the Wayward stars. Tropical Punch was my first finished read, and this one was my second. You can read the shared team thoughts about the first quarter of the book here. This review will only cover my opinions of the book, no rating.
I went into reading the rest of the book with one big concern, Coop’s attitude towards Sam. Maybe it’s weird, but I really don’t like reading about men treating their partner like crap, and that was the feeling I had when I finished the first quarter.
I also really wanted to see more of the fight scenes. I generally skip them in books because it’s the results that matter more than the fight itself. For Intergalactic Bastard, that’s not true. The fights are the centre point of the book. They’re extremely well-written, and with the alien opponents and their varied abilities, they’re interesting to read about. How would you fight a gelatinous blob? A simple weapon isn’t going to do much. The tournament at the end was a bit too short and felt rushed. Like the book only had x amount of words left so let’s do this quickly. I would’ve loved it if it was longer.
The added length might have helped with the character growth too. I really enjoyed the plot, the fight scenes, and the development of the story. In general. But if you look at the character development closely (for Cooper, Sam, and his uncle), all of the main characters go through rapid changes that don’t feel genuine. There’s one instance that I’d like to talk about which might a bit of a spoiler so if you don’t want to read it, skip the next paragraph.
This is the climactic moment where Coop sees the light. Sam tells him that he has to change, and references to how things used to be. I have absolutely no idea how they were as a couple before, and from any context about Cooper’s past, it seems like he always was a bastard. So why did she fall in love with him? She asks him if he remembers how they bonded; their shared loss of their mother. While it might be something to bond over, it doesn’t feel like the thing that makes you fall in love with a person. Let alone the thing that keeps her at his side when he treats her like crap. Sam’s whole character seems like it was built on things Cooper needed for his character development (a moment to show he cares for something other than himself, a person who makes him see the light, someone who gives him reason to change (she becomes pregnant). Aside from that, she feels flat.
Uncle Regis is much of the same. He has a role in Cooper’s story but barely has any agency aside from that. The change in him was minor and also not really believable, for me at least. It was too sudden and I think it still could’ve worked if the author hadn’t tried to force Regis to go from selfish bastard to caring family member.
Aside from the characters, I do think the story itself is interesting, and as I said before, the fight scenes are incredibly well-written. I’d love to see a movie adaption of this, with a longer, more intense tournament.