Gunpowder Moon

Gunpowder Moon

by David Pedreira


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  • An Amazon Best Books of the Year selection
  • BookBub Breakout Debut Novels of Winter 2018
  • The Verge―18 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Read in February
  • Barnes & Noble—One of 25 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Debuts to Watch for in 2018
  • Nerdmuch—Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books of 2018
  • Bookish—Winter 2018’s Hottest Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books
  • Library Journal: Spring/Summer Best Debut Novels

“Interesting quirks and divided loyalties flesh out this first novel in which sf and mystery intersect in a well-crafted plot...Pedreira’s science thriller powerfully highlights the human politics and economics from the seemingly desolate expanse of the moon. It will attract readers who enjoyed Andy Weir’s lunar crime caper Artemis.” — Library Journal, starred review

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 U.S. 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 those 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062676085
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 600,256
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

A former reporter for newspapers including the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times, David Pedreira has won awards for his writing from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He lives in Tampa, Florida.

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Gunpowder Moon 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sch91086 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. This is a murder mystery set on the moon. Moon related fiction seems to be a popular trend right now but I’m not complaining. The writing in this book was excellent. The author does a good job of expressing the cold desolate landscape. He described various ridges, the way the moon dust levitates in the air as night turns to day, and let’s not forget the smell. Moon dust smells like cordite/gunpowder. Hence the name, Gunpowder Moon, and the title and the description really stuck with me through the novel. I also enjoyed the characters. They were mostly men, but I guess in a world where no women have actually set foot on the moon yet (ahem) I shouldn’t be all that surprised. The one woman, Lane, had a pretty major role and wasn’t cast in a stereotypical way. She was strong and fearless and makes smart decisions. I enjoyed her character arc as well as the arc of the main character, Dechert. My only complaint with Dechert was that I never really got a sense of how old he was. I kept thinking of him as an old man because he was a grizzled war veteran, but upon reflection I get the feeling he was supposed to be about middle aged. He felt very human to me. Flawed and sort of tragic. There was plenty of science to go around. They are mining for HE-3 deposits. There’s talk of magnetic fields and g forces and .6 gravity etc. I did find this slowed the pace occasionally because the science was above my head. (Also- I read another review on Amazon that said the science was not entirely accurate, I can’t comment on this because I wouldn’t know enough to tell you either way.) On to the story itself, there were things I liked and things I didn’t. To start with, I didn’t feel like this was set far enough in the future to suspend my disbelief that apocalypse level climate change happened everywhere, leading nations became the new third world nations, wars broke out, and then lunar He-3 deposits are discovered as the answer to all the world’s problems. The other result of this mini apocalypse- is apparently that everyone is suddenly very theistic (and America is of course very Christian, and top brass doesn’t really like when the people working for them aren’t). I’m not sure where this falls on the plausibility scale. I live under a rock and I know religion isn’t going away anytime soon, but to have America just become a bunch of religious zealots didn’t sit quite right with me either. (Isn’t it equally plausible that they all became atheists in the name of science?) These are small parts and only detracted from the story as minor annoyances. I liked the conspiracy theory level mystery. Layers being uncovered one after another. Evidence trickling in from various sources. The need for secure channels and evacuation plans. I love a good conspiracy theory- so I never mind a trip down the rabbit hole. Where it lost me again, was the way the mystery was solved. It was too immediate. Too convenient. I’m not a fan of the epiphany as a solution. The action scenes were a blast and the author wrote them very well. It was very reminiscent of Star Wars. Shuttles flying blind through canyons and craters, skimming the dusty lunar surface. Navigation via a basic green and black grid. These scenes were show stealers. To sum it up: excellent writing, fantastic setting, lots of science and human characters made for a good overall story. I’d recommend this to readers of hard sci-fi or anyone in the mood for a good lunar tale..
CaptainsQuarters More than 1 year ago
Ahoy there me mateys! This novel is a murder mystery about the first murder on the moon in 2072. It was a Library Journal Spring/Summer Best Debut Novel and also an Amazon Best Book of the Year Selection. So why didn’t I love it? To be honest, I am not really sure. I did think that the realities of life on the moon were the best part. I loved that it felt gritty with moondust and that, despite decent technology, everything was worn and in danger of failing due to monetary constraints and politics. I loved that the geography and operations on the moon felt so real. I enjoyed the main character, Dechert’s, perspective. He was smart, diligent, and caring. I also enjoyed the Safety Engineer and the Tech Engineer who were the other parts of the main trio. I loved the moon culture. But I think the main problem of this book was the plot itself. I just overwhelmingly found the events of the book to be rather boring. I almost gave up a couple of times. But the crew kept telling me that this was a good one so I kept going. I did find that the action picked up nicely in the second half. But overall I found the politics and explanations for the murder to be rather sub-par. I mean it has the trope where the murderer stands still and pontificates on how he did it. Sad. I also thought how the crew was saved from the baddies to be so silly. That said I did like Dechert’s negotiations at the very end and was glad the main crew was saved. So good characters and world building. Not so good plot points. While this novel turned out to be just an okay read, I have no regrets about reading it. Maybe the audio book would have been different? Side note: Still adore the title of this one and why it is called that. Arrrr!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written but a little boring.