“Don’t Touch the Blue Stuff!” is the second book from Rob Dircks in his wonderfully witty and comical “Where the Hell is Tesla?” series. Not only is he the author of the piece, he is also the narrator of the audiobook edition; which in my opinion, is a good thing. Not only is the book well written for its genre, the narration was professionally done as well. All around, if you like wacky, zany, and downright fun science fiction books, I do not think you can go wrong with the latest book in a series which I hope will continue to grow over time. When a book opens rather early with the phrase, “Trust us, we are the FBI.”, what could possibly go wrong? I want to include a quick plug for Goldfinch Publishing here in this review. If you enjoy any of Mr. Dircks’ books or if you are looking for some free audiobook short stories, visit their website and sign up to be on their mailing list. It is worth your time and effort for the audiobook shorts alone.
If you have listened to the first book in the series titled “Where the Hell is Tesla?”, then you know exactly what you are in for when you pick up the second book. With that said, I believe in this book you will get a bigger and more complex story from the first. Much of the fun of the first book was the discovery and science, where this book is more focused on accomplishing specific goals but it takes place in a similar location and time. Again, I think this was a good direction to take the book and for me it kept it quite interesting. You may be asking, can I read this book without reading the previous one? I would highly recommend you go through the first book prior to picking this one up as it references many events or encounters from the first. So, go and read the first book knowing that the second one is already available in audiobook format. That way, you will be able to jump right into this book when you are done with the first.
The book gives us all the regular cast of characters you came to know and love from the first, but there are many new, strange, and exciting encounters yet to be discovered in its pages. We get our beloved BoBo back, which was one of my favorite characters. But you will also see the inclusion of a few additional famous people from history, the purple people eater, and our favorite FBI agent. You will get a glimpse introduced to a hoard, family, gaggle, not really sure what you would call it, of cockroaches. Mr. Dircks also does a good job of including references to pop culture by poking fun at popular movies or books such as: Terminator, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and even Goodnight Moon; which for many with kids is a revered piece or literature. And, like with the first book, this one also is told mostly by way of email communications across multidimensional universes; yep, no way to get away from all that SPAM email even in such a place.
Let me turn your attention to the book’s narration. Again, this book is narrated by the author himself. Often this is not a good thing, but I like listening to Mr. Dircks’ rich, clear, and crisp voice. He is able to successfully narrate the many characters found in the pages of the book, and I do enjoy the voice he gave to Tesla. The audio was well produced and I was unable to recall any specific issues or inconsistencies while listening. I really like when the combination of the same author and narrator works as I feel the story can be told better because the narrator knows the material and why it was written the way it was.
Not only does the book contain humor and science, it does have some aspects of character relationships, light romance, and tight bonding friendships. When I reviewed he first book, I said it was like a modern day “Bill and Ted’s Adventure”, and this book continues that crazy feel. Mr. Dircks’ writing for this book, not intended as an insult, reminds me of the dog from the movie “UP!” and his short attention span; squirrel… The book at times can feel like it is all over the place, but in the end, it all comes together into a fun and humorous way.
For parents or younger readers, I would say this book is geared more towards mature audiences. The book contains a fair amount of vulgar language. It includes some topics which may not be suitable for younger readers along with a few scientific concepts that may be difficult for younger readers to comprehend. If you are at all offended by heavy use of offensive language, I would not recommend this book to you.
In summary, let me say, multidimensional universes can be complicated however Mr. Dircks makes it fun in a way that appeals to a larger audience. The book is very light-hearted and comes in at about six and a half hours of audio. If you enjoyed the first, grab this book and give it a listen. If you have not, and you like comical science fiction books, get the first in the series and then pick this one up.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.