Having previously read and enjoyed Brandy of the Damned and understanding this to be a spiritual successor, I didn't hesitate to dive right in.
The first thing you'll notice is an immediate shift in the levity of this book compared to the former. It aint the same beast. The cast of First Church contain a level of bemused derangement not previously seen in Brandy.
The crew of the Steve Moore moonbase are suffering. From moonshine induced amnesia, from the sorrow of a failed wedding and from an outbreak of 'something' that they really don't have the appropriate tools and faculties to deal with.
This moonbase amnesia is only a microcosm of the issues for humanity at large who, for reasons best discovered in the book, are suffering from a mix of digital dependence and their own woeful ineptitude.
It's left to a handful of unlikely heroes to discover exactly what happened that fateful night on the base, why it's mortally offended their employers to the point that they've been cut off from essential supplies, and just how they deal with the risks of the mysterious outbreak that challenges the very nature of man's relationship with existence itself.
In the same way that the best stand up comedians have a knack for contrasting humour with moving observational poignance - so JMR seems to be able to easily segue from the story narrative & open the kimono of reality to show us the inner workings. It's as if the tale suspends for a moment whilst a much deeper mechanic is exposed.
The book is fantastically funny in places (I found myself barking at my Kindle more than once) yet also charming and uplifting at the same time. It's a strange universe that the author has cooked up, where the major constant is Orlando Monk and his ability to instigate much needed change. I can't wait to read the next tale.