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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Book Review: Station Eternity (The Midsolar Murders #1) by Mur Lafferty

Station Eternity (The Midsolar Murders #1)
by Mur Lafferty
Oct 4, 2022
Genre: crime fiction, science fiction
Publisher: Ace
Amateur detective Mallory Viridian’s talent for solving murders ruined her life on Earth and drove her to live on an alien space station, but her problems still follow her in this witty, self-aware novel that puts a speculative spin on murder mysteries, from the Hugo-nominated author of Six Wakes.

From idyllic small towns to claustrophobic urban landscapes, Mallory Viridian is constantly embroiled in murder cases that only she has the insight to solve. But outside of a classic mystery novel, being surrounded by death doesn’t make you a charming amateur detective, it makes you a suspect and a social pariah. So when Mallory gets the opportunity to take refuge on a sentient space station, she thinks she has the solution. Surely the murders will stop if her only company is alien beings. At first her new existence is peacefully quiet…and markedly devoid of homicide.
But when the station agrees to allow additional human guests, Mallory knows the break from her peculiar reality is over. After the first Earth shuttle arrives, and aliens and humans alike begin to die, the station is thrown into peril. Stuck smack-dab in the middle of an extraterrestrial whodunit, and wondering how in the world this keeps happening to her anyway, Mallory has to solve the crime—and fast—or the list of victims could grow to include everyone on board….

Mallory Viridian is hiding out on a sentient space station. The author of several popular murder mystery novels inexplicably attracts death. All around her, for most of her life, people have died. For the protection of others, and her sanity, Mallory jumps at the chance to live in space surrounded mostly by non-humans. Mallory’s haven is threatened, however, when the space station admits additional humans. The new arrivals seemingly set off a chain reaction resulting in the space station’s quick and devastating deterioration. The new transplants are connected; Mallory just needs to connect the threads just slightly out of her grasp before it’s too late.

Station Eternity is wildly inventive with an action-packed, engaging storyline. Admittedly the action gets a bit silly towards the end but remains entertaining. What Station Eternity wasn’t was an easy-going read. The world-building and extraterrestrial cast of characters were so complex I found it rather daunting. The mystery spans space and with a cast of well-developed human characters. The non-human characters were a little too odd for me and I had a difficult time understanding or connecting with them. I quite like science fiction but am a relatively inexperienced reader of the genre. As such, while I enjoyed this story overall, it will likely be my last foray into the Midsolar Murders series, at least for now.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
2018 Hugo, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Manly Wade Wellman Best Novel nominee (Six Wakes) 

2018, 2017 Hugo Best Fancast nominee (Ditch Diggers)

2014, 2015 WINNER Manly Wade Wellman Award (The Shambling Guide to New York City & Ghost Train to New Orleans)

2013 WINNER Astounding (John W. Campbell) Award for Best New Writer

"...the doyenne of scifi podcasting." ~Cory Doctorow,

Mur Lafferty is an author and podcaster from Durham, NC. She made her name with podcasting (I Should Be Writing, Ditch Diggers, and Escape Pod) and has written for magazines, roleplaying games, and audio and video podcasts. 

She's the author of Station Eternity, The Ophelia Network, Solo: A Star Wars Story, I Should Be Writing, Six Wakes, The Shambling Guides, and part of the team that writes Bookburners.

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