“Luna” written and published by Rick Chesler is a rather unique science fiction space suspense thriller. The audiobook’s narration was professionally performed by Steve Rausch. If you enjoy a story that blends many of the elements of the movies like Tremors, The Martian (having more than one person stranded), and Gravity, you will get a good understanding of what you are in for when reading or listening to this book. There are many exclusive story components, so do not think the book contains nothing new; it does. Although the overall story lacked some technical and plot depth along with a need for more character development, it was not a bad story as a whole. If you are one who likes suspense, space, and monsters, you may find yourself liking this book. I gave the book an average rating because I could not find anything that was astonishing or earth-shattering based on other books I have reviewed previously.
I picked up this book as it had a somewhat unique premise, also who does not like good space and mystery story? I was not disappointed when I listened to the book, but I will say there were a few times where I did not feel engaged by it. Many of the main characters were more cardboardish or flat than I would have liked. Even though it is a monster story at its core, I still would have liked to have had deeper character development and interaction. I’m also aware this is a piece of fiction, but I found some of the accident chain of events to be somewhat over the top and required some suspending of belief.
With the story taking place a few years in our future, space travel becoming more commercialized and regulated by the ever-liked (sarcasm) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Being a pilot myself, I found it interesting that this government organization was the one assigned the duty to monitor and maintain the safety of space travel. I found the character and communication of the fictional FAA agent quite stereotypical of people when believed to be from the FAA or Government Agent. There are also a few other usual science fiction space tropes found in the book, but generally these did not get in the way.
I had no issues with any of the narration or audio recording done by Steve Rausch. He seems to not have a large number of book narrations under his belt, however based on the audio in this book I would have assumed more than he already does. I did like the addition of some of the extra actual audio recordings from past space flights, etc. It was well incorporated into the narration and did not take away from the book itself. I also did not note any audio artifacts observed while listening to the book.
A note to parents or younger readers. During the first half of the book I was surprised to have encountered a low number of vulgar words, but their use greatly increased as you progress to later parts of the book. Often these are used during times of intense stress or expression, but the author could have easily used other language to support his point. There are also a few scenes of intense violence that may not be appropriate for younger readers. Violence is what one would expect in a modern-day monster thriller. Had the author taken into consideration these aspects and removed them, I think he would have had a bigger audience. I actually believe younger readers would enjoy the book more based on its subject matter and writing style apart from the above-mentioned items.
In summary, if you like space, monsters, thrillers, mystery, and annoying FFA inspectors, you may end up liking Luna. As stated earlier, it is not a book that by reading it will rock your world, but it is a rather light tromp into space where we come face to face with a few obstacles. People die, people survive, and people sacrifice themselves for a better life of others.