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A Grey Moon Over China Hardcover – May 12, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in 2006 by Black Heron Press, Day's intense debut opens in the year 2027 with the world on the verge of economic and environmental collapse as nations wage war over a rapidly diminishing oil supply. Army engineer Eduardo Torres accidentally discovers plans for a quantum battery, which could solve Earth's energy crisis. Instead of sharing it, Torres sets up his own rogue state, builds a fleet of starships and takes them through a wormhole to the Holzstein System, only to be attacked first by other humans and then by what appear to be aliens determined to destroy humankind. Though marred by a few technological improbabilities, this well-written, decidedly grim novel is replete with strong, thorny characters, fast-paced action sequences and rich descriptions of human folly and true heroism. (May)
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"[Presents] a grimly optimistic picture of the future while telling the personal stories of his characters as they struggle to make their way in an uncertain world."--Library Journal on A Grey Moon Over China
Top customer reviews
I went from the cafe to a coffee shop to a bar, reading for almost ten hours straight, because I did not want to do anything that'd interrupt.
Now, don't get me wrong: "Grey Moon" isn't happy. There's nothing sunny about it. If you've stayed with "Battlestar: Galactica" for the past few years, run back through your mind & take out all the happy parts.
Okay, now you've got some idea.
It's very dark (though without the excesses of the various "-punk" labels people are trying to apply to it), more a sort of political thriller than space-war science fiction.
Watching the character's transformation throughout the book is amazing not from hitting you in the face with it, but because Day is adept at a "slow burn" sort of revelation, where he hands you all the parts, a few here & there, until you suddenly realize it's all obvious.
If I'd acted a few days sooner, I'd have bought this manuscript. That bums me out... but I'm sincerely glad that Day's small-press sale has gone on to TOR. I wish him nothing but luck, & hope to have more opportunity to say "I knew him when..." in future.
Army engineer Eduardo Torres finds the solution when he uncovers plans for a quantum battery that if shared would save the planet. Instead, he decides to keep the technology setting up his own "nation" by buying a mercury force. Following up on an abandoned plan to colonize space, Torres builds starships and enters a wormhole to the Holzstein System. However, he is not welcomed as another humanoid race and aliens attack his fleet.
This grim look at the near future paints a bleak horizon as the earth is consumed by the liquid wars. The cast is powerful and realistic as Darwinism wins over creationism with survival of the most diabolical. Torres and other key characters are not likable, but that is one of the key points of this gloomy cautionary tale in which Thomas A. Day lucidly insures his players are not romantic heroes. With a wild well written military in space clash of cultures that enhance the argument how sentient are we as a species if we commit increasingly faster pandemic suicide. GREY MOON OVER CHINA is a super science fiction thriller warning us that time is running out on mankind.
A Grey Moon Over China, by Thomas A. Day, had me very excited from both the back cover blurb and the opening few chapters. Mr. Day writes in a very fast paced style that really drew me in... again, at first. The trouble started to occur and the book revealed more and more characters and further plot developments with less and less attention paid to fleshing anything out. While this didn't necessarily confuse me, it did disconnect me from the entirety of events as they occurred in rapid-fire succession over the course of many perspective years.
The book's interesting plot continues to entice as the plot unfolds, however it fails to deliver on any but the most superficial sense. I got the impression that Mr. Day ground a 500,000 word manuscript down to its current size, leaving out fluff such as character development and scene description. I gave up on the book when, around 2/3 of the way in, the main character's own unsurpassed genius (despite his continual relegation as ambassador schmuck) susses out obscure pseudo-scientific details known only to the author. I won't spoil it for anyone who might enjoy Mr. Day's style.
In the end, I would best describe this book as frustrating. Just like a wonderful movie concept spoiled at the hands of an awful director, I believe A Grey Moon Over China is an intriguing plot spoiled by the author.