BooksOfTheMoon

Assassin’s Orbit

By John Appel

Rating: 4 stars

The setting of this book is a post-Earth society, where there was a nanotech plague on Earth and only those nearest the space elevators were able to escape and build a new civilisation in the stars. In the present, Ileri is about to hold a referendum to join the Commonwealth when the assassination of a government minister threatens to blow the lid on an already tense situation. Private investigator Noo is asked to work with police commissioner Toiwa and they end up working together with spy Meiko to solve it, and in doing so, they uncover a possible threat thought long defeated.

I didn’t see this book’s tagline of The Golden Girls meets Babylon 5 until after I’d finished it, but it suits it remarkably well. All the major protagonists are older women, but all still active players in their field. There’s also a lot of diversity in the wider cast of the book which I really enjoyed reading. The world-building is expanded slowly and organically, without any big infodumps, and makes for a fascinating setting, that I would happily read more stories in. And although this book was pretty standalone and ended satisfactorily, there’s definitely hooks for sequels, which I would be happy to read.

The fact that the characters are not all twenty-somethings makes it feel like they’ve really earned their depth, and you can feel that experience in their actions as well. They are parents and grandparents, but rather than mellowing over the years, they’ve retained their passion and anger.

I really rather enjoyed the way it started as a crime story and the way that the scoped widened and it became more of a thriller as the book went on. Overall, this is a fun space opera with a well-rounded and diverse cast of characters.

Book details

ISBN: 9781781089156

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