book review, science fiction

Golem by Kim Aaron

Heda works in robot maintenance on the moon, and Jay is a tour guide. After a series of hook ups, they’re afraid their relationship is getting serious and you’re not supposed to get serious on the moon.

However, everything gets scary when Heda’s precious sixteenth century necklace, rumored to contain the power to raise a golem, goes missing while she’s reparing one of the base’s work robots. When the same robot starts destroying the base, those in command struggle to find out who is controlling the robot and how to stop them.

I liked the basic premise for this book – a golem on the moon. However, it doesn’t explore the golem myth and merely uses it to explain a magical, unstoppable rogue robot. I found this very disappointing.

The setting of the moon was one of the things that drew me to this book, but I was disappointed by how it was portrayed. I love the idea of a working moon base with regular tourists, and even though the idea of a bus driver giving sightseeing day trips around the moon base was unexpected, I was willing to go with it. However, the set up as described seemed entirely unbelievable to me. There was a hotel, a repair bay and a command center and a garden. I am sure the author put a lot of work into imagining the settlement, but unfortunately it didn’t come across on the page. It didn’t live for me as a thriving community with a viable reason for existence, let alone a place billionaires would pay to visit. I could not establish my suspension of disbelief.

There is a lot of action in this book, but it all boils down to essentially different pieces of equipment running out of battery, dust, and a robot that runs at 50kph/30mph (which is very fast on the moon). Again, these are not bad things, but as I couldn’t believe in the moon base as portrayed, or connect with the characters, I was not invested in this action.

There are a lot of characters in this book but practically no character building. There are whole pages of dialogue between characters who have just been introduced without any descriptions of who they are, where they are or additional scene building. Things happen to names that I have no connection with, so they were meaningless to me.

The writing is competent. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are all in the right places. The pacing is good. The book is easy to read and the plot is easy to follow. However, the novel is lacking all the details that immerse you in the world, draw you into the characters, and make you feel the terror of their situation.

I liked the frequent movie Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the book, especially the Firefly reference.

It would be unfair to give this book 2 stars because it is competent but my reading experience was not pleasant enough to warrant 3 stars. Therefore I’m giving it 2.5 stars and rounding up to 3.

I award Golem

5 thoughts on “Golem by Kim Aaron”

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