Book Reviews: Science Fiction Mystery Romp

Murder on the Orion ExpressMurder on the Orion Express by Nate Streeper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Murder on the Orion Express is a fun book full of humor and great action sequences, but I had enough trouble with some aspects of it that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. The story was sound, the laughs are outstanding, the writing brilliant at times…but inconsistent at others. I enjoyed the main character’s arc and the ending.

I had a hard time following the “sleuthing” of private detective Alan Blades. Pacing was something of a problem for me, with elements of the story moving so “fast,” without enough description, that I got lost and had to re-read.

This book is inspired by, and an homage to, the Agatha Christie book with a similar title, but Streeper fails at the one thing Christie has mastered: Every character, each suspect, is clearly portrayed and easy to keep track of. That was Orion’s biggest failure in my mind: At some point, I had to work REALLY hard to just remember who the suspect characters were. They had names and front-stories; they had actual names and backstories, people I didn’t care about were being killed off right and left, all in a very different world setting, with weapons, machines, and tech unlike our own.

It was hard to keep track of, and as a result, the book wasn’t a smooth, easy read.

Full Disclosure: I know the author and he’s a fantastic guy. I’m listed in the acknowledgments (but I didn’t do a thing).

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