Ian Sales is an interesting person. I regularly read his blog posts and am always amazed by his knowledge and insight in to the science fiction genre. His passion to see quality science fiction by female authors given the attention it deserves is laudable and shows that he is interested in more than the misogynistic right wing stories. This passion for the genre carries through to his own work. Normally when I read a book the premise for the story is obviously laid out from the beginning. Not in this story. It was not until half way through that the I started to realise that the author asked himself what would have happened if the Russians had landed on the moon first. The logical conclusion is that the Americans would have had to go further and do something even more amazing than that. Landing a man on Mars for example.
This is not a fast-paced thriller full of action. This story slowly build the tension and anticipation and I found it really gripping. I stayed up in to the early hours just to read the end of this book. I just couldn’t leave it and go to bed. There are so many references and pieces of facts in this book that sometimes I found it hard to remember that it was a work of fiction. Even the faster than light travelling ship that was bolted to an asteroid was described in such a way that it seemed not only plausible but a pretty good idea for somebody to try. I particularly liked the ending of this book. It is not a happy ending, it doesn’t tie everything together and leave no possible loose ends, but more importantly to me it fits how I felt the main character would act and showed his dignity.
This is in my opinion the best book that Mr Sales has written and I hope to read the next one soon.