Review of Plato Crater by Carleton Chinner

Title:  Plato Crater (Cities of the Moon #2)

Author:  Carleton Chinner

Reviewer:  Shelley Russell Nolan

Synopsis:  The independent European base at Plato Crater is the Earth’s only hope for an end to the Helium-3 crisis if they can’t persuade Yesha Chen, Empress of the Moon, to trade. Every other Earth power will stop at nothing to seize control of the Moon’s lucrative energy supply.

Jonah Barnes would rather have stayed on the Moon with Yesha, the love of his life, than be back on Earth negotiating a Helium-3 deal that might leave him being something other than human.

Yesha thought it was hard to lead a rebellion. Now she must subdue one, but her stolen battle droids have other ideas. To survive, she will need to choose between the man she loves and the woman she must become before it is too late.


Review:  I was initially confused coming in to this science fiction story as it is the second one in the series, but I eventually got caught up with the action. Although I think it would be beneficial to read them in order as it would help with orientating the reader in the conflict and which of the characters they should care about. Told from multiple perspectives, it deals with the aftermath of stopping the export of Helium-3 from the Moon, causing hardship to those on Earth who relied on the power source. It soon becomes clear that there are many entities that would do anything to ensure the resumption of the power supply, including taking over the mind of the man sent to Earth to negotiate a new deal.

The characters were varied, flawed and interesting, but I did feel I was missing out by not knowing Jonah and Yesha prior to starting this book. Of all the characters, I found it easier to relate to Holly, the stowaway who finds herself on the Moon thanks to impulsive and somewhat reckless choices. While I didn’t feel some of the actions she undertook were believable, as a newcomer to the conflict it was easy to identify with her struggle to forge a better future for herself even as she became accustomed to life at Plato Crater. I wanted her to succeed, and enjoyed reading the sections in her POV most of all.

But for me the real star of the book was the setting. As seen through Holly’s eyes, I got to watch as the base at Plato Crater was set up, marvelling at the technology and the way humans adapted to life in the harsh environment. It made me think such a base would one day be possible, that people would stand on the moon’s surface and look to the Earth. The details were vivid and almost tactile, bring life on the moon into sharp focus. It left me wanting to know both what had come before and what would happen next.

Rating: 4 Stars

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