This is one book that made me laugh out loud several times. If you were ever a “Star Trek” fan (in any of its iterations) you will enjoy it too. The protagonist is Ensign Andrew Dahl, has just been posted to the flagship of the Universal Union, the Intrepid. He is assigned to the Xenobiology Lab and quickly discovers whenever Captain Abernathy or the Chief Science Officer enter the lab, his mates disappear. When he presses them for an explanation, they reluctantly tell him they are trying to get out of Away missions, which have an unfortunately high mortality rate for Ensigns. Only the Captain, Science Officer Q’eeng and the Astrogator Lieutenant Kerensky inevitably return; Kerensky usually horribly mangled and on the brink of death. There are always casualties among the lowly crewmembers – the Redshirts. And Kerensky always heals in time for the next Away mission.
Dahl and four fellow ensigns, also new to Intrepid, soon start to compare notes, along with the mysterious “yeti-looking” Jenkins, and discover their mortality stats are much higher than other ships in the fleet and began when Captain Abernathy joined the ship. They come up with a theory so shocking most of them can’t believe it until more evidence keeps piling up. I don’t want to spoil the many twists and turns in this book so I won’t go any further in discussing the plot, but if you ever liked “Star Trek” or especially “Galaxy Quest”, you will enjoy this book. I started reading it at 9:30 pm and finished at 2:30 am with my head buzzing and my sides aching from laughter. Give “Redshirts” a try.