“Ocean of Storms”

Christopher Mari, Jeremy K. Brown

Picked at random out of my library of science fiction ebooks, and came up with a good one! The general vibe I have of this book is that, while it could use one more pass from a good editor, it’s got solid bones; the plot tracks fairly well, and feels engaging all the way through, and I was delighted to find that I couldn’t predict the ending ahead of time.

My notes to the authors, should they ever read them:

  • There’s a little of “as you know, Bob” at times—the explanation of the difference between a fission and fusion reactor felt a bit silly, given that it was happening on the moon. By the time you’re there, you’ve probably picked up enough background knowledge about science in general to get the concept.
  • Not every story needs a romance arc!1 The first time around I actually, for the benefit of nobody but myself, pantomimed gagging. It felt forced, and also highlighted how thoroughly male-dominated the cast is.2
  • The pacing feels a bit odd towards the end—about 50 pages from the end, I started wondering if this was going to end on a cliffhanger to set up the next book.3

Editing notes aside, however, I really enjoyed it! I should come up with some kind of pseudo-award to give out to books that successfully trick me into staying up late reading; this would be a winner. And really, what higher praise can I give? Give it a read.4

  1. Well, if you’re writing a romance novel, maybe it does — although, come to think of it, a romance novel without a love story does sound like a pretty interesting exploration of genre.
  2. The president being a woman is a nice touch, but a) I can’t recall her actually having a name other than “the President”, and b) I don’t think she ever talks to another woman, so, there goes the Bechdel test.
  3. Spoiler: It didn’t, the book actually tied things together reasonably well; while it feels like there’s still room for more, it’s less “second movie” and more “spin-off TV series” territory.
  4. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.