What’s better than reading a crime-filled drama? A crime-filled drama…in space!
Jokes aside, Andorra Pett and her best friend Cyril take a giant leap to change their lives. By giant leap, I mean they pack up and go to a space station. Near Saturn. Away from the desolation of their romantic lives, the Oort Cloud Cafe might be the answer. It is, only not in the ways they expect.
For crime fiction, this had a much lighter tone than I ever expected. It fit in very well with the narrative. The main character’s not a journalist, detective, or even a curious observer. Things don’t feel gritty and hard-edged. Andi wants to start her life over as the owner of a little cafe. She doesn’t have a predisposition for many of the circumstances presented. Yet, she still manages to prove herself without going over the top. That right there sets the tone of what to expect from the characters.
What sets this apart is that it’s not a heart-pounding, race-against-time thriller. There’s plenty of tense moments to be sure, but this takes a different approach. It’s very character-driven. There’s quite the cast, all with their own uniqueness to add to the story. They’re all tied together on the tiny space station. Individual stories help push the plot forward. When the time’s right to start foreshadowing, the differences cast harsh suspicion. One minute X might be guilty, the next it was could be Y. Building the narrative in such a way took great care, and it shows.
I could probably go on and on about the characterization quite a bit. Development of the two mains, Cy and Andi, was wonderful. Even though it’s told in first person, the reader knows the supporting characters as well as Andi. Steady narrative progression builds up the world and the characters piece by piece. Each part shows careful attention to detail and continuity. Everything feels solid. Things feel tied up at the end. It’s part of a series, but feels like it could be its own standalone novel. Kind of like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Only without the young adult tone.
This was a really good book in a myriad of ways. Characters, plot, and structure were all spot-on. The story itself was well-written and entertaining. Things were easy to visualize without being jargon-heavy. I can say without a doubt that I’ll be on the lookout for Andorra Pett’s next adventure.
Buy it here!