I picked this up because of thewheelbarrow’s review, and I was not disappointed. Great writing, great story, great characters, great fun. I proctored a civil service exam last weekend, which basically meant I sat and read for five hours, with occasional breaks to glance up and look intimidatingly at potential cheaters, and then I just wanted to go home and read MORE.
Detective Miller is well on his way to being washed up. You’ve seen his type before: rumpled, drunk, rarely putting 100% into any of his cases. He’s a Belter, and has grown up among the asteroids on space stations.
Captain Holden is an Earther, but has made his way out to the stars to work on a water hauler, bringing ice from Saturn’s rings to stations and colonies all over. While he and a small crew are out on their shuttle, their main ship is attacked and destroyed.
Suddenly, rumblings of war are all over. First it’s the settlers on Mars vs. the settlers in the Belt, with Earth trying to stay neutral, and then Earth joins in the fray and it looks like the end of the world as our characters know it. Then something terrible (terrible!) happens to an entire space station, and the plot thickens. The build-up is very well done, and the payoff works well too.
Miller and Holden alternate chapters, taking their own routes to discovery and drama. Each time a Holden chapter would start, I’d be thinking “But what about MILLER?!!” and each time a Miller chapter started, I was thinking “But what about HOLDEN!??!?” I fretted about everybody, and wanted everyone safe and happily ever after, which isn’t usually what you can expect from interstellar warfare.
It’s tense, it’s gripping, and it has some surprisingly funny moments. I’ll definitely be reading the rest.