Terminal Alliance (#1)

Next: Terminal Uprising (#2)

In his hilarious new sci-fi series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse. 

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly. 

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter. 

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago. 


“Hines delivers a fantastic space opera that doesn’t skimp on the action and excitement but pairs it with a hefty dose of slightly scatological humor. The author is especially clever in having Mops and her team leverage cleaning tools and a knowledge of spaceship plumbing to fight their enemies.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“With so much serious dystopia on the shelves, a story like this is a genuine pleasure to read: proudly funny and ridiculous. But don’t dismiss this novel as only silly fun. It is also good science fiction: a solid premise, an expansive universe, a compelling history, a strong and varied cast of characters, pulse-pounding action, and a galactic crisis with high stakes. The fact that it’s funny is icing on a rich and delicious cake. Clever, and should appeal to fans of Douglas Adams and John Scalzi.”


“This solidly entertaining story has plenty of potential for further installments.”

Publishers Weekly

“Hines breathes life into a stunning number of otherworldly beings, but his skills with the human characters really shines here, particularly his resolute and quick-thinking heroine, whose no-nonsense determination brings out the best in both her crew and her opponents, ensuring the future of this series will surely be a bright one.”

RT Book Reviews

“Action keeps the plot moving nicely, while plumbing and zombie jokes, lots of team banter, and alien misinterpretations of Earth culture provide considerable humor, for a lively start to what promises to be a highly entertaining series.”


“TERMINAL ALLIANCE works both as amusing comedy and as rousing military SF, and I recommend it to fans of either. Having janitors as heroes not only works as a comedic premise, but Mops and her crew make for perfect underdogs.”

Amazing Stories

“I had great fun reading this and I loved Mops’ resourcefulness and determination to save her people and her crew – who were all awesome. I love found families so much and their team turned out to be just that, with quite a few funny interactions born out of ignorance of human history. I can’t wait to see where else Jim Hines will take them.”

Book Smugglers

“[B]oth fun and endearing […] TERMINAL ALLIANCE is a quick, fun read. And I do find myself appreciating those in the sanitation industry a lot more. If there’s anything this book has taught me, it’s that janitors know the ins and outs of everything.”

Lightspeed Magazine

“Full of humor, suspense, and intrigue — this story has it all. The characters are fun and the dialog is sharp. It’s well-paced and hard to put down. With several great twists and plenty of action and adventure, SciFi fans will not want to miss this one.”

SciFi Chick

“TERMINAL ALLIANCE, is an amusing space opera with a unique premise.”

Fantasy Literature

“Personally, I found the mix of wordplay, tech goofing, and poop jokes in TERMINAL ALLIANCE quite winsome. This is a very funny book, but it also has heart, and that slow emotional burn makes all the difference. Grand space operas sometimes have a tendency to feel emotionally airless—all gleaming vessels and stoic heroes and missions of galactic import. Here, we meet the people who scrub the toilets and change lightbulbs, hip deep in the effluence of our humanity. It’s not always pretty, it’s often funny, and it’s a helluva ride.”

Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“I loved all the clever setups and the humor and the shout outs […] The maintenance crew makes excellent and often hilarious use of their knowledge of cleaning agents and the excretory habits of other species.”

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“Entertaining and amusing in equal measure, there’s enough love for the genre seeping through the narrative to make this worth your time. Roll on the sequel.”


“Hines is one of the most versatile authors working in speculative fiction today […] more impressed now than I have ever been.”

Unreliable Narrators

“Like all of Jim Hines’ books, you’ve got a mix of plucky but unlikely heroes thrust into situations that are both comic and tragic. Also, like his other books, he pulls off the combination.”


“Hines is an amazing writer and his imagination is second to none.”

Daily Republic

“TERMINAL ALLIANCE was a really fun read. Mops is a great POV character, and I enjoyed that the maintenance crew got to be the heroes—but they didn’t just pick up the controls of the ship and fly around as though it were super easy.”

Ann Leckie, The New York Times bestselling author

“Jim Hines is one of the funniest, and most fun, writers in our genre! TERMINAL ALLIANCE skewers science fiction tropes and takes on a wild romp through an original universe.”

Tobias S. Buckell, The New York Times bestselling author

“I enjoyed TERMINAL ALLIANCE very much. It’s a spunky, irreverent interstellar romp with most unlikely heroes and frequent laugh-out-loud moments. I look forward to more adventures featuring this delightful cast of galactic janitors.”

Marko Kloos

“Like the slightly demented love child of Douglas Adams and Elizabeth Moon, TERMINAL ALLIANCE is clever, silly, full of surprises, and unfailingly entertaining. Apparently Jim C. Hines is capable of being funny in every genre.”

Deborah Blake