Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Science Fiction Cozy Mystery
National bestselling author Diane Vallere gives a space academy dropout a chance to fit in–but it’s what makes her different that changes everything…
When space academy dropout Sylvia Stryker hacks her way into the position of Uniform Inventory Manager aboard Moon Unit 5, she jumps at the chance to leave her small planet behind. Besides, who will find out she faked the results of her physical? But when the ship’s second navigation officer is found dead in the uniform closet shortly after departing the space station, Sylvia’s problems become bigger than falsified test results. And when her supervisor places her on probation for her own uniform infraction, she’s at risk of being dropped off at the nearest substation. Juggling red shirts, white lies, and little green men, Sylvia has to expose a killer before Moon Unit 5 becomes space dust.
Previously published as MURDER ON MOON TREK 1.
As soon as I heard of this book I knew I wanted to read it. A Cozy Mystery set in space just sounded exactly like my kind of the book. And I really enjoy how the author blended the two genres together. It was a very fun read and I liked reading it.
Fly Me to the Moon follows the story of Sylvia Stryker who has hacked her way aboard the newest space cruise ship, Moon Unit 5. She has taken the place of the original uniform manager to fulfill her dream of serving aboard a space ship. She is more than qualified, but she didn’t pass the physical and didn’t finish her studies. I liked how the main character was half alien, even tough it didn’t really impact her character as much as I had hoped, I still thought it was a nice addition. I also thought her position at the uniform ward was interesting, although I still have no good idea what her normal duties would entail.
The mystery starts almost right away, but then slow downs as other storylines and plot points pop up. There are still some clues, but it’s hard to notice them while reading, but they do make sense at the end. There are parts with lots of clues and parts with less and that goes on like that until the end when things suddenly build up. The pace of the mystery progression was a bit off to me and I would’ve preferred a more constant pace and more finding clues. It’s also hard to really piece things together as for a long time you’re missing a lot of information. Most of the important clues are either right there at the start already or get uncovered at the end. There are also people who keep secrets which muddles the investigation. All in all it was a fun mystery, but the pace was a bit off sometimes.
Besides the mystery there is a bunch of world building, background info, character info and more put into this book. There is a lot of setting the stage here, which slowed down the pace at times, but it was important to fully understand the whole situation. I am also hoping that now the stage is set and we know more about this world book 2 will be even better.
I like Sylvia well enough, but had a hard time fully warming up to her. I liked how she seemed smart and capable, but at the same time she could act as bit unprofessional at times. The whole drama surrounding her place on the ship also didn’t really appeal to me, I just wanted to either see her locked up or not, now it was just going back and forth and it just felt weird. Although it makes more sense with some of the information we learn at the end. There’s also a twist that didn’t make as much sense as it would’ve been easy enough for people to figure out what had happened.
And her interactions with Neptune irritated me to no avail and I was pretty sure from the start of the book that he was the love interest. I just didn’t get why they kept hiding things and instead of answering questions and being open with each other, they had this half annoyed and angry conversations at the time, which just didn’t work for me. Also it felt pretty unprofessional at times as well when they worked together and didn’t were open with each other. I did like them a bit better toward the end when some secrets come to light and Neptune’s behavior makes a bit more sense.
The world building was pretty interesting. At first it very much felt like Star Trek meet cozy mystery, but the further I got in the book the more it started to feel like it’s own universe with some nods to Star Trek. I liked that we have some aliens aboard the ship, but at the same time I would’ve liked them being a bit more alien. Plunians are said to be less emotional than humans, but with Sylvia being half plunian I didn’t really notice much of that with how often she was annoyed and acted on emotions in this book. How their planets atmosphere was different was a nice twist. I did found a few parts of the world building to be a bit confusing and not everything made full sense to me, but this is more light sci-fi with a mystery, so I didn’t mind too much.
To summarize: this was a fun and enjoyable read that brings cozy mystery to space. I liked the combination of genres and the author handled that part very well. The mystery was a good one, but I would’ve liked a bit more clues and the pace of the mystery felt a bit weird sometimes, with parts were it progressed much and then parts where not as much happened. I like how everything fell on it’s place at the end. Sylvia was a nice main character to follow, although I didn’t fully warm up to her. I liked how she was smart and it was a fun how she was half alien. Although the aliens didn’t really seem too alien. The world building as well done and I liked getting a feel for the universe. Some things were a tad confusing or didn’t quite make sense, but I didn’t mind too much. The other plot lines and lots of background, world and character information and such slowed the pace down a bit and I hope book 2 will be even better than this one.