Book Review: THE HILLS OF THE MOON

Carleton Chinner’s debut novel ‘THE HILLS OF MARE IMBRIUM’ has very recently been re-released with a new cover and title, ‘THE HILLS OF THE MOON.’

Jonah is on a mission to spread his brother’s ashes on the moon’s surface and if he can, he’d like to get a job working the Helium mines from Chang’e base. When he arrives at the Lunar Peoples Republic of Jiangnan he befriends Lucian Jones. Lucian is one of the Moon Folk, the son of a family who has been on the moon for so many generations that their bodies have adapted to the low gravity.

After spending all day almost begging for work at the mining companies employment offices, Jonah meets Lucian and a friend for dinner. An explosion rocks the dining room, and Jonah and Lucian find themselves running through the complex underground web of sub-lunar tunnels, escaping from the security forces of Wei Meng, the moon’s head of security, who is insistent on crushing the Free Moon movement and has plans of becoming the next administrator himself.

In THE HILLS OF MARE IMBRIUM, Chinner has weaved together an interesting and imaginative tale of rebellion, of humanity (moonanity?), of redemption and hope. There’s a lot of engaging sci-fi elements and fight scenes that were done really well, I especially enjoyed the details of transport between Earth and the Moon. The culture and history of the Moon Folk was also presented well.

It’s a really good debut novel and paints a new picture of what a colony on the moon might look like. There are some elements that I think were taken a little too far, challenging the believably of the piece. The names Jonah and Jones are also similar, and occasionally I had to re-read passages for clarity. And someone really needs to look at tightening security around the Chang’e prison. I look forward to reading the sequel, PLATO CRATER, and seeing what happens next.

To find out more, go to Carleton Chinner’s website.

  • Originally published June 2019

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