…Get the book, it’s a fantastic read from a new author.
The author recently reached out to me to review the book “Cold Trap”. Cold Trap looked like a good read by the description and already had a few positive reviews so I said to myself “sure, why not”. A few weeks later (hey I’m busy!) I’ve finished the book and posted my review on Amazon, but figured I may as well post here too so both of my loyal readers can enjoy it too. (HI MOM & DAD!)
The description on Amazon says:
At a solitary lunar outpost, a secret battle for the fate of the planet.
Economic geologist Og Rowley knows Unity outpost well. He helped design it. He led its first science team. And back home in Los Angeles, he was awaiting the return of his two dear friends – Moochy, whom he helped raise from squalid beginnings to her current post cultivating Unity’s garden, and Sej, his wisecracking protégé who was in the midst of mapping out deposits of strategic metals inside the Keppel Corp restricted zone.
But when word arrives that Sej has vanished from the frozen floor of a distant crater, NASA sends Og back to Unity to investigate … and with repeated attempts on his life, Og must quickly figure out: Is there anyone at the outpost he can trust? Certainly not Maxwell, the manipulative Keppel Corp lackey that NASA sent to mind him. Nor the prideful commander, Lutz, who is furious at having the reins of the investigation pulled from his grasp. Nor even Moochy, not with the way she has been rambling on about how her dearest Sej is not dead … just not alive.
No, Og is on his own, and somehow he must solve the mystery of Sej’s disappearance and, along the way, discover the truth behind NASA’s decision to return him to Unity. It may have something to do with the mysterious device Keppel Corp has been assembling out in the restricted zone … the one that Maxwell says is humanity’s last hope for salvation. Or maybe it has to do with Moochy, who has a secret of her own, one that might just unlock the mystery of complex life or even deliver up a key to the stars … if it doesn’t cause a mass extinction first. Whatever the case, Og had better find the answers soon, or the fate of the world may be sealed.
My Two Cents
Overall, I really liked the book. If I were to be a little -overly- critical, it does have a few rough spots but not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book. It’s a solid book.
The story (mostly) takes place in the not too distant future on an outpost on the moon. An astronaut goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and the protagonist has to investigate the disappearance. Needless to say, it’s not a cut & dry simple case.
The author does an excellent job of building up a believable world in the not too distant future. Technology is advanced, but not so much that it feels unreachable. In this world wearable tech is ever-present which is a believable extension of today’s Google Glass, Siri/OK Google/Cortana, smart watches, etc. Traffic to the moon is done via a mix of commercial and national interests, VIPs have VTOL planes instead of helicopters on the roof, and the political situation on Earth is certainly plausible, especially considering recent events. By the same token, there is no #spacemagic such as teleporting, warp drives, artificial gravity, etc.
The dialogue (usually a failing by new authors) is well put together and the characters are believable. There are several players in the story, but not so many that it’s hard to keep track of who is who (whom?). An adequate amount of time is spent building up each so you get a sense of their personality and care what happens to each.
The pacing of the book is (mostly) pretty good. I never felt the need to skip ahead because I was bored, or had to scroll back a few pages because I missed something important. There is a distinct “feel” to each half of the book. The first part is the setup and build up, the second part is a run to the climax and conclusion.
I felt that the villain (when s/he is eventually revealed) is quite over the top. Like a Bond villain hell-bent on world domination that just suddenly fell out of the sky. Personally, I think either foreshadow the possibility of the huge change in personality or (maybe preferred) tone down the villain just a tad.
I had two minor annoyances. 1) People use wearable tech a lot. The author has them use the phrase “specs…” to get them to do something. Similar to how you would now use Siri or Google Now. I think if that technology were to become mainstream there would have to be an easier or less obtrusive way to get the devices attention. 2) there is a scene in a water tank that was really… odd. It could have taken place just about anywhere so I was expecting the tank to somehow play a part but it didn’t. It felt very awkward.
Neither here nor there:
The first part of the book had several flashbacks to give some background on the characters and how they got where they are now. I liked it, but if you don’t like that writing device it’s OK because the latter portion of the book is a straight downhill gallop towards the finale.
Definitely worth a look. Especially since it’s on sale during November for $0.99. Grab the book from the link below.