Columbus Day doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Joe Bishop is hiding from technologically-advanced aliens, then he's a Starship Trooper, a several page description of military technologies follows, and then not much happens while Joe does farming and slice-of-lifey things with a side of political intrigue. This was fun and enjoyable.

Then Skippy shows up. Critics rave about Skippy, but I must disagree. I was introduced to Columbus Day via Skippy, but what I found was not a highlight of the story, but an inexplicable deus ex machina (machina ex deis?), with no apparent character other than ‘he's an arsehole until he's not’. His constant barrage of snark, while certainly successful as comic relief, repeatedly journeys into the unbearable, and despite apparently being a god-like intelligence, his indiscretions are inconsistent and never explained. Perhaps they are in the sequels, but his abrasive character doesn't entice me to find out.

The already-messy story also takes a turn for the worse, venturing through a wild tonal rollercoaster of pew-pew action sequences, space battle pirate hijinks, and frustratingly one-dimensional geopolitical nonsense.

To top it off, my copy (dated February 2016), while readable, could do with better editing, with spelling and grammar errors every few pages.

Columbus Day will work for many, but it didn't hit the mark for me.