“Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow” by Jennifer Lee Rossman


Jennifer Lee Rossman
World Weaver Press (2018)
ISBN 9781732254633
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/19)

“Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow” by Jennifer Lee Rossman is an entertaining sci-fi space opera you won’t want to put down!

Jack Jetstark is an intergalactic carnival barker who travels through space with other misfits who also have special powers. His power is to spew flames from his mouth. Others have different capabilities to turn into other beings, such as a large, hairy, wild man, telepathic conjoined triplets, an angelic being, and a cyborg. The cyborg was the last one to join the group. Initially, their powers only appear when a special song is played. This is the only time when the group is able to do their carnival performances. One evening, the song changes, and their gifts become permanent. Jack believes the singer to be Diantha, a woman for whom he has carried a torch for a long time. She now runs VesCorp which is an intergalactic mining corporation that does a lot more than just mine.

In the past, they were responsible for creating freaks with the hopes of building warriors. Jack’s crew gained their gifts by being descendants of VesCorp’s experiments.  The experimental part of the company was supposed to have ended years prior. Jack believes Diantha to have the best interest of people at heart, rather than profit or power, but her actions appear to indicate otherwise. Jack and his troops get to see the stark reality of the individuals who toil on desolate planets and asteroids for VesCorp. He also discovers that the company has continued to do their torturous experiments with the hopes of creating new monsters. He and his crew team up to try to put a stop to this, but in order to win this war, they must unite others like them from across the galaxy.

I really enjoyed “Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow.” This novel turned out to be much more than I expected. The protagonist and supporting characters are full of flaws, yet still likeable. Readers will find themselves cheering them on as they try to defeat a huge, malignant enemy which is VesCorp. Having individuals with special gifts unite to try to defeat a large, powerful enemy makes for a heartwarming story, because the freaks can all relate to each other as a misfit family, even though their gifts are different. The power of the group as a whole is much greater than the sum of the power of all the individuals working alone. Uniting allows them to become so much more than they could ever imagine.

Fans of space opera science fiction will enjoy “Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow” by Jennifer Lee Rossman.

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