Day 115 on an Alien World by Jeannette Bedard
Someone needs to be alive to call for help.
A dishonourable discharge left Margo unable to find honest work on Earth. Signing onto a colonizing mission heading to a new world promised a fresh start. Or at least that’s what she’d thought.
Strapped into a crashing colony ship, she realized how wrong she’d been.
They hit the ground and the straight forward colonizing mission becomes a scramble for survival. Accidents keep happening—too many to blame on random bad luck. A trail of evidence leads Margo to a startling conclusion—one of her fellow colonists is a saboteur.
Tomorrow is the colony’s first communications window with Earth and their only chance to send a message home.
Will Margo stop the saboteur before it’s too late?
I was approached by Jeannette a while ago about this book because my twitter header made her think of her heroine. This immediately made me want to read the book, so she sent me a copy (very thankful for it).
I took my sweet time to read through this book and I am so sorry for this! (Sometimes I pause books and struggle to get back to them, not that I have a problem with the book but my mind kinda thinks I should start over and at the same time, not).
Anyway, to the actual review. Day 115 on an alien world introduces us to Margo who is definitely an interesting and nuanced character (I really liked her, the more she explores around and meets the rest of the “crew” the more I liked her). And I ended up having this image of her just as my drawing did, which made her feel even more real.
It is a nice space opera with a well paced who dunnit mystery that keeps you wondering who is behind all the things happening and why. But there is also the element of being somewhere that isn’t home.
To me it was a little bit of Prey (the Bethesda game), with some Elizabeth Moon space adventure (less political) and other interesting elements. I liked the interesting aspect of them needing to be a “married” couple to be able to populate the new world (but also, there seems to be this “wanting it to fail” undercurrent in it). And I liked how Gary understands that the arranged marriage with Margo is for both, their ticket into the program, but that it may suit both of them to do their own thing and just keep appearances.
There was a lot of science in this book too (some adapted, but also, some interesting approaches) which is part of why I kept pausing the book. I kept getting distracted by the ideas in it, and it reminded me a little of the mix of science int fiction that Anne McCaffrey does and I have loved so much.
The book relies on having good characters to move the plot along (because it is a small space and there defintiely seems to be a saboteur in the program), which it did well, as the characters have layers and depth.
All in all an interesting space opera mystery. I enjoyed it quite a bit.