The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal, is the third book of the Lady Astronaut series, describing an alternate reality in which a meteor struck the Earth in the early 1950s, accelerating and changing the constraints of the space race. While the first two books focused on the story of Elma York, The Relentless Moon follows Nicole Wargin, also an astronaut, and wife of the governor of Kansas. Nicole gets sent to the Moon base, but things do not go as expected: there’s multiple suspicions of sabotage, and a lot of ways thing can go awry in a small base in a very dangerous external environment.
I was very happy to be selected for the NetGalley of this book, because I had loved the previous ones, and I was absolutely looking forward to the third installment. I really like the setting and how the alternate history is fleshed out, and I love how believable is the whole space program.
I was a bit disappointed to not get the story from the point of view of Elma (the main character of the first two books), but the social group is still very similar, and I came to love Nicole as well. Nicole, like Elma, has her own set of personal struggles, and she’s very likable, competent and has a unique set of skills that is delightful to read about.
The plot felt maybe too eventful (are these people, that I start liking, going to catch a break at any point, PRETTY PLEASE?), but my perception of this may have more to do with my own state of mind than with the plot itself.
All in all, this was a thrilling and engrossing read – and Lady Astronaut #4 is currently planned for 2022, it’s going to be a long wait!