Book Review: Moonfall by Jack McDevitt

The last two books I read (reviews here and here) left a lot to be desired, so I was feeling a little gun-shy when I went to grab something else from my shelf. I’ve been really trying to get through the massive amount of books I’ve acquired in my Bookshelf Cleanout project!

The universe decided to make it up to me when I grabbed Moonfall by Jack McDevitt. Right off the bat, I got excited that the opening scene takes place during the solar eclipse of April 2024. Our location in Southern Illinois was dubbed the “Eclipse Crossroads” back in 2017, because both that eclipse and the one in 2024 will be fully visible here. To boot, I was even wearing my commemorative eclipse t-shirt!

Okay, personal coincidences aside, it’s important to talk a little bit about the plot (without giving too much away, of course). A comet is discovered, and it’s heading straight for the Moon, where Moonbase has just been officially opened in a ceremony that includes the Vice President of the U.S. The story is told from multiple POVs, just like any good disaster movie.

I couldn’t help but note as I read all the similarities to our current times that McDevitt predicted way back in 1999. The book is only three years ahead of the present, after all! There is talk about increased mileage on electric car batteries, everyone has cell phones, and all the news is online. Unfortunately, Moonfall mentions the Arecibo telescope, which didn’t make it, and yet it predicts that Sears will still be around.

I was definitly impressed with how well McDevitt predicted the divisive political climate that surrounds a global disaster. Some think the coming comet is only a political stunt to gain votes. Those in charge are forced to contemplate whether they should let the populace know just how bad things are and risk panic, or play it cool and risk lives. There was so much more, and it was all shockingly familiar.

Overall, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t liked about Moonfall. The characters were deep and relatable, the technology was fantastic, and I got so wrapped up in the suspense sometimes that I thought I might have a panic attack. 5 stars! While my ultimate goal is to pare down the sheer number of books I have, this one is going on the Keep shelf!

Have you read Moonfall or another book by Jack McDevitt? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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