Audiobook Review: Dead Moon by Peter Clines
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 3.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Book 3 of Threshold
Pubisher: Audible Studios (February 14, 2019)
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
Narrator: Ray Porter
I’ve really enjoyed Peter Clines’ books in the Threshold series so far (14 and The Fold) which was why I was excited when I found out that he would be releasing a third book as an audio exclusive with Audible. While all these stories appear to take place in the same world, any connections between them are immaterial to their individual plots so each one can be read as a standalone. As such, I wasn’t too surprised to discover that this new book, Dead Moon, would take place in the future on the moon, though I was a little taken aback by the very different tone, style, and overall quality.
That’s not to say Dead Moon was a bad book, but it does feel less well put together compared to Clines’ previous Threshold novels, with a more slapdash plot and characters that aren’t as developed. The premise also comes across as less unique and more commercial, like something I might come across in a B movie on the Syfy channel—as in fun, but superficial. As you can probably figure out from the book’s description, this is a zombie story on the moon. The year is 2243 and overcrowding and environmental degradation on earth has forced humankind to figure out a new way to deal with their dead. The solution? Make the moon a graveyard, where Earth’s wealthiest citizens can launch the remains of their deceased loved ones to rest in peace for eternity looking down on us from the brightest object in the night sky.
But such an enormous undertaking also requires a lot of manpower to maintain. Enter the Caretakers, men who women who live onsite in Luna City, the moon’s largest operations center, where they perform tasks such as grave digging and overseeing the cemeteries. It is lonely and isolated work, but it is also perfect for Cali Washington, who has signed on to become a Caretaker in order to start a new life and escape the troubles from her old one. Not long after she begins her position, however, a mysterious meteor crashes into onto the moon’s surface, affecting the grave sites in a terrifying way. Far away from any help and amidst dangerous dust storm conditions as well as impossible reports about the dead rising, Cali and her fellow Caretakers must band together and try to survive.
Unlike 14 or The Fold, the overall premise of Dead Moon is relatively simple, and the book is what I would call a popcorn read, with a story and characters that present themselves accordingly. There’s also plenty of action, and while these scenes and the dialogue are pretty hammy, there’s no denying the entertainment value. This is a zombie book, after all, and it’s the kind where you know right away what you’re getting into. It will mostly play out the way you expect, though there are also a few twists and surprises thrown in that those who have read the previous Threshold books will probably appreciate more.
In terms of characters, we have a diverse and interesting cast. But as with many of these pulpy space disaster stories, it wouldn’t really be advisable to get attached to any of them, since a bunch of them will not survive. Some were clearly written to be fodder for the zombies, so not surprisingly, character development is on the lighter side. Likewise, the plot has a “throwaway” quality to it, which is pretty typical with these typcs of fluffy reads. I get the feeling that Clines wasn’t overly concerned with any possible plot holes or explanations that don’t sense—like, come on, it’s moon zombies! It’s supposed to be over-the-top and a little silly, so I’ll give it a pass for being so outlandish. Like I said, these aren’t necessarily bad attributes, as long as you come into this with realistic expectations.
In other words, Dead Moon isn’t a deep book by any means, but I had a good time with it, even though I don’t think its quality is in line with the previous Threshold books (especially with The Fold, which I thought was mind-blowingly clever and engaging). For the right person at the right time though, I can see it being very enjoyable. I will give that it is thrilling and great fun—a fantastic audiobook to check out to if you want an easy and fast listen. A solid 3-3.5 stars.
Audiobook Comments: If nothing else, you should be picking up this audiobook for the awesome narration of Ray Porter. I’m a huge fan of his because his performances are always topnotch no matter what kind of material he’s given to work with. The guy brings an electrifying energy to any book because of his great voices and enthusiasm.