#ScifiMonth Audiobook Review: Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty

Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 2 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 1 of The Midsolar Murders

Publisher: Penguin Audio (October 4, 2022)

Length: 15 hrs and 32 mins

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen

Believe me, it gives me no pleasure to say this, but…what a mess! I came to Station Eternity after having enjoyed Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes even knowing this one will be completely different. I’d thought I was ready for just about anything and yet, nothing could have prepared me for this utter disaster of a book. Not only was the plot all over the place, the storytelling and writing itself was choppy and disorganized which shocked me because this has never been the case in my previous experience with the author’s work.

Our story begins with an introduction to protagonist Mallory Viridian who is currently living in self-imposed exile on Eternity, a sentient alien space station that has only ever allowed a few humans aboard. Mallory had a good reason to leave Earth though. Everywhere she goes, she seems to attract death as people close to her tend to die in bizarre murders, and it got to be so frequent that Mallory has even become something of an expert at solving them. Many of these cases have also gone on to inspire her to write a series of mystery novels that she publishes under a pen name, but at some point, the guilt got to be too much. Mallory figured the only way to put a stop to the murders happening around her was to remove herself from society all together.

But now, Eternity has suddenly and inexplicably decided to allow more humans visitors, which is a problem. So far, aliens on the station haven’t appeared to be affected by her presence, but Mallory feels concern for the humans on the inbound shuttle, fearing that once they arrive, the deaths around her will start up once more. Her only solution is to run away, but before she can even work out a way off station, disaster strikes, sending Eternity into chaos. Just as Mallory feared, the bodies are piling up again—this time both human and alien—and escape is longer an option. Left with no other choice, Mallory will have to work with her friend Xan Morgan and their alien allies to solve the case before they too join the list of casualties.

At first, I was actually really enjoying this book. Sure, it felt like a bit of an oddball, and I could immediately tell this would be nothing like Six Wakes but still, this was the kind of different I didn’t mind at all. I also liked the setting of a sentient space station, and the whole backstory of alien first contact. Basically, the far more advanced coalition of alien races didn’t trust humanity, so they set up Eternity but barred any humans from setting foot on it, save for only a handful of exceptions—one of them being a single human ambassador; another being Xan who had requested asylum; and Mallory, who essentially traded room and board in exchange for being a human test subject for the wasp-like aliens called the Sundry. As you’ve probably already guessed, our protagonist is something of an oddball as well, but at this early stage of the novel I was still willing to give her a chance to win me over.

Everything was going well until the part where the humans arrived, which was supposed to be when things got good. Instead, this was the moment the story began its downward spiral towards catastrophe. The list of POV characters exploded out of control, bringing in side characters that we’ll eventually find out how they are connected to Mallory but the pathways that ultimately get us there were so convoluted and meandering that it ruined the effect. At this point, Station Eternity became less of a mystery and more of just a mishmash of seemingly random stories that killed the story’s pacing and any kind of cogency. It became exhausting being shuffled to one character’s POV to the next especially when I didn’t care about any of them, and whenever we did return to Mallory, I found her personality grating and unpleasant. While the book began with a good sense of humor, I was feeling none of it by the time all these threads came together. In fact, it was almost a relief when the end came in sight; I was just glad the book was over.

Bottom line, I give Station Eternity credit for trying to be fun and outside-the-box, but the execution left a lot to the desired and I’m sorry to say this did not work for me at all. I’ll probably still check out more of Mur Lafferty’s work in the future, but I’m afraid when it comes to this series, I’m calling it quits right here.

19 Comments on “#ScifiMonth Audiobook Review: Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty”

  1. Lafferty has brought shame upon herself.
    Lafferty has brought shame upon her family.
    Lafferty has brought shame upon her cow.

    There is only one honorable way for her to resolve this situation. Bring out the ceremonial sword!


  2. Pingback: Bookshelf Roundup 11/27/22: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

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