I was a bit confused by the story and direction of Tranquility. The book’s description made me think it would be a Young Adult (YA) or coming of age science fiction/space story with a specific goal the main character needs to complete. The story includes nano-meds for healing, memory wipes (snips), emotion inhibitors, and some other fantastically futuristic technology. Not only some great technology but we also have a colony of people, with its own government, on the moon. Bring in some alien lifeforms to assist with the story’s goal and you have what appears to be the type of science fiction I like to read. wrapped into this rather short story. It sounds like a great tail told in just over one hundred pages.
However, read below for the reasons I would not recommended this book to young readers.
The book itself is really more a detective action/thriller story that takes place on the lunar surface. It includes acts of terrorism upon the lunar colony and a girl’s journey to find the person who murdered her parents along with hundreds of other lunar citizens. The book follows her and her alien co-worker as they try to unravel the mystery and clues needed to catch this person.
I found the author was able to describe well the scene and action taking place which allowed me to more easily visualize this lunar facility. However, I found the characters overall to be a bit flat. I wanted so much more that would make me care for the key characters of the story. More background about her parents and their times together, more history of the lunar colony and their struggles, and more around the aliens than what was provided. Providing some extra details on life and technology for these people living on the moon would have gone a long way for me. I want to be able to live out the story along with the author. Take me on a journey that I never want to leave, etc.
As I became comfortable with the opening story and the direction the author was taking me, I was settling in for a good fun coming of age story with a murder mystery twist until the author derailed me with a few speed bumps. First off, there were a few limited uses of vulgar language that was completely unnecessary to the story or plot. Seemed to just be dropped in for shock value. I counted 3-5 times the author uses explicit language in the book. There are conversations involving the use of alcohol; mostly beer. Lastly there were a few places where what I would call “light” adult material is brought up including some sexual acts, dating, etc. Because of these items, I would not recommend this book the young readers, however the story itself, I’m sure, would have been interesting to this age group had the author just left out the above items. Nothing in these categories was required nor did their use help to move the plot along.
The audiobook narration was done by Kristin James and I will say she does a great job in telling this story. She has narrated over 40 other titles and many of the books on her list are ones I would enjoy listening too; the highest number in the sci-fi category. She is able to voice the characters well and the audio itself is clean and crisp having no pops, clicks, or swallows. The volume was level throughout the recording. I will be listening to more narrations by her in the future.
After listening to the book, I wanted more depth, character development, and story. Again, I liked the plot, the twists, the mystery, and all. I just wanted more to better know the people involved.