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A Grey Moon over China Hardcover – October 30, 2006
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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...an engrossing high-tech-decaying-into-low-tech future, with lots of Machiavellian intrigue...Grade A." -- EW.com, November 17, 2006
"Day's novel paints a grimly optimistic picture of the future... [H]is characters...struggle to make their way in an uncertain world." -- Library Journal, October 15, 2006
"Inventive, disturbing, intriguingly populated and utterly fascinating: an altogether remarkable debut." -- Kirkus Reviews, September 2006 (Starred review)
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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.