Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse), by Jim C. Hines, takes a futuristic zombie-esque apocalypse and wonders – what happens if someone comes along and fixes it? Humanity was turned into mindless, shambling monsters, but the Krakau (a squidlike alien race) decides to help fix us. Eh, more or less.
The story follows a human nicknamed “Mops” and her motley band of space janitors as they get caught up in all manner of mischief. And might just uncover the galaxy’s biggest conspiracy. It’s all played for fun, and it’s nice having humans NOT as the leaders of whatever galactic alliance for a change. We’re the big dumb muscle.
Terminal Alliance knows the score when it comes to sci-fi tropes and does enough to play with them to make it different. Think Scalzi’s Redshirts, but not quite that obvious. That makes it a fun palate-cleanser between bloody thousand page epics. Recommended.