A Sci-Fi Political Thriller/Murder Mystery

3.5 out of 5 stars

For some reason, there have been a lot of “murder mysteries in space” books in my queue lately.  Gunpowder Moon was another one to add to the list.  This was on my list of “most anticipated” for 2018 and I’m glad it was.  I enjoyed almost every second of it thanks to Pederiera’s no-nonsense writing style and Jeffrey Kafer’s delivery.

I called this a Sci-Fi Political Thriller/Murder Mystery because that is every category I think this book fits into. There is a murder of a miner on the moon and we are tasked with figuring out not only who killed him but why.  The government gets involved and it spirals from there.

The plot of this wasn’t anything new to me since I’ve read a few other books similar to this in the last few months – but I did appreciate that it was set on the Moon and not Mars.  That helped it stand out a little to me (and made it a little more believable).  There was some science in this that I wasn’t sure if it was real or possible – and some other science-y parts that bugged me a little.  I don’t expect every author to be Andy Weir level of science by any means.  Or even capital S science. But some of the stuff written in this just got on my nerves.  I understand that it’s set in the future and “anything is possible” but it’s not the Sci-Fi parts that were the issue.

The characters were a little take them or leave them until later in the story.  I didn’t know much about most of these people until they were thrown into the blender.  It wasn’t typically how I get to know them – but it worked for this story.

Overall, for a genre-jumping book – I thought that Gunpowder Moon was a pretty good one.  There was a little too much political pandering for my likes – but I just got past it and enjoyed the Sci-Fi Mystery part of it.

Book Description:

A realistic and chilling vision of life on the moon, where dust kills as easily as the vacuum of space…but murder is even quicker – a fast-paced, cinematic science fiction thriller, this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising.

The moon smells like gunpowder. Every lunar walker since Apollo 11 has noticed it: a burnt-metal scent that reminds them of war. Caden Dechert, the chief of the US mining operation on the edge of the Sea of Serenity, thinks the smell is just a trick of the mind – a reminder of his harrowing days as a marine in the war-torn Middle East back on Earth.

It’s 2072, and lunar helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors that are bringing Earth back from environmental disaster. But competing for the richest prize in the history of the world has destroyed the oldest rule in space: Safety for All. When a bomb kills one of Dechert’s diggers on Mare Serenitatis, the haunted veteran goes on the hunt to expose the culprit before more blood is spilled.

But as Dechert races to solve the first murder in the history of the moon, he gets caught in the crosshairs of two global powers spoiling for a fight. Reluctant to be the match that lights this powder keg, Dechert knows his life and the lives of his crew are meaningless to the politicians. Even worse, he knows the killer is still out there, hunting.

In his desperate attempts to save his crew and prevent the catastrophe he sees coming, the former marine uncovers a dangerous conspiracy that, with one spark, can ignite a full lunar war, wipe out his team…and perhaps plunge the Earth back into darkness.

Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
Published by HarperAudio on February 13th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 307
Format: Audiobook
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