An ex-soldier tries to solve a murder that threatens to both plunge the Moon's mining colonies into war and destroy tentative international peace in Pedreira's debut novel, set in 2072.
Caden Dechert hoped to leave war behind when he abandoned an Earth ravaged by climate change and violence over dwindling resources. In the Moon's new mining colonies, he finds escape from the ghosts of the past and a camaraderie that transcends national rivalries. Russian, Chinese, or American: everyone is an equal and an ally in the struggle to survive the Moon's extremes. But peace can't last forever, and tensions back on Earth will have ramifications on the lunar surface. As incidents of sabotage escalate to lethal levels, Dechert struggles to try to stop the gears of war from grinding shut on his mining station and the small crew that has become his surrogate family. To succeed, he and his team will be pitted against hardened military minds, black ops technology, the machinations of politicians...and the unforgiving and deadly setting of the Moon itself. The lunar environment is the star of the story; its stark extremes of heat and cold, light and dark are a constant presence threatening the struggling miners, soldiers, and bureaucrats...and sometimes awing them with its beauty. Occasionally the Moon overshadows Dechert and his crew, who drift near one-note characterization. But a tight plot and evocative technical writing drive the story to a satisfying conclusion, culminating with a bittersweet reflection on humanity's taste for war and how no cease-fire really does last forever.
Memorable visuals and well-executed action sequences mark this exciting foray into near-future hard sci-fi, which is at its best when framing the poignancy of the desire for peace.