A quirky whodunnit space opera where the red herrings matter more than the actual murder under investigation. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to think, but as I got further and further into the book, the characters started to grow on me and I found myself unable to put the book away.
The writing, though, is not what makes this book stand out. Frankly, I found the prose a bit verbose and clunky, with too many repetitions. More than once, one of the characters would make a statement, either in dialogue or thought, that would then be repeated almost literally a few paragraphs on. It’s quite a hefty book, longer than your average sci-fi novel, and I feel it could have been condensed here and there to increase the pacing to a more exciting level.
What made this book enjoyable to me were the story lines and the odd and diverse cast of people and aliens, all being very human in their interactions. From the big alien teenagers, the snobby buzzing insect hivemind and the sentient space station.
The cast is big, overwhelmingly so at the beginning. At first, the relevance of some of the characters seems to be minimal. When, then, those characters would reappear much later in the book, I found myself scrambling to remember who they were. But in the end, it does all tie together beautifully.
The first of a series, I’ve put book 2 (due out in November 2023) of The Midsolar Murders firmly on my to read list.