The subtitle — part six of three — tells you everything you need to know. Adams may be dead and gone, but his work lives on, as beloved as ever. So much, in fact, that they commissioned another book, in no small part because Adams himself had stated he didn’t want to leave Mostly Harmless as the last entry.
Following in such auspicious footsteps has got to have been daunting, but Colfer largely seems to have pulled it off.
The usual cast of Arthur, Trillian, Ford and Zaphod return, along with other old and new names, including Arthur and Trillian’s daughter (Random), Thor and an immortal alien called Wowbagger (as well as others). The story starts where Mostly Harmless finished (although it’s been so long since I’ve read the originals, I didn’t remember that).
To begin with, the mimicking of Adams’ unique style felt forced. It didn’t seem natural and nothing seemed to flow. As the book progressed it settled down though, and soon got back into familiar territory. The story seemed to rehash many of the old themes and adventures, it wasn’t particular hard to guess where it was going, but it was a nice return to a universe I’ve previously enjoyed.
Maybe my distance from the originals helped, with their impact watered down over time, but I didn’t find this to be a weak pastiche, rather a nice homage to a classic series.
As for the recording, well Simon Jones does a fantastic job narrating, but the production around the story wasn’t great (the intros and outros were random, duplicated and one of them sounded like it had been recorded in the 50s, on tape).
All in all, a good addition to the Galaxy trilogy, just don’t go in assuming this will be Adams, more Adams-esque.