`Moonbeams' is a great idea and has many of the elements of good science fiction - interesting worlds, well thought out futuristic technology, mystery, a touch of romance, and an unexpected twist at the end. However, despite the obvious work that has gone into this, it falls down in its execution.
From the blurb -
One galaxy, two budding Galactic Empires, a recipe for disaster?
Follow the struggles of two civilisations as they make plans to escape
their birth planets, but their destinies are entwined and fate is
Actually, the book was better than its blurb suggests and I can't say anything very specific about the plot without giving too much away. The way the two civilisations relate is a unique and clever idea, as is the ending. It's certainly not a bad book; it just could be better.
I was impressed with the scientific details. B.J Morgan has certainly done his homework and his scientific background shines through in his attention to detail. However, it's this very attention to detail that drove me crazy sometimes and had me scanning pages. Balance is important and not easy to get right. We need enough detail to be able to understand what's going on, but not enough to bog down the story. Unfortunately, too much detail and information, leading to scenes that were a great deal longer than they needed to be, slowed the story down considerably - at least for me. If you are someone who wants to know exactly how they drilled down to the alien outpost and saw what they needed to see, then you will love this, but I found it tedious.
The main characters were clear and strong, but even with leeway for the alien civilisation, I found some of the dialogue stilted. Two of the characters fell in `love' almost instantly, but at the stage that this was declared, they really only had to recognise their mutual interest. The love would have become obvious to the reader later without us being told about it. The point of view changes needed to clearer sometimes too.
The main problem with this book was simply more words than were necessary and writing that could have been more engaging. If you ever see a shorter edition of this book, I'd definitely recommend it. As it is, I give it 3 stars and recommend it only for readers who like interesting ideas and scientific details and don't mind a story that moves more slowly than it needs to.