Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Chaos Terminal by Mur Lafferty
Narrator: Kelsey Navarro Foster
Series: The Midsolar Murders #2
Published by Ace, Penguin Audio on November 7, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Science Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 47 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Mallory Viridian would rather not be an amateur detective, thank you very much. But no matter what she does, people persist in dying around her—and only she seems to be able to solve the crime. After fleeing to an alien space station in hopes that the lack of humans would stop the murders, a serial killer had the nerve to follow her to Station Eternity. (Mallory deduced who the true culprit was that time, too.)
Now the law enforcement agent who hounded Mallory on Earth has come to Station Eternity, along with her teenage crush and his sister, Mallory’s best friend from high school. Mallory doesn’t believe in coincidences, and so she’s not at all surprised when someone in the latest shuttle from Earth is murdered. It’s the story of her life, after all.
I was thrilled to continue with the Midsolar Murders. The characters and world had a good foundation laid in the first book Station Eternity which is where Mallory and Xan and several aliens live. The station itself is sentient, bonded now with Mrs. Brown.
Mrs. Brown decides to take a trip and leaves Mallory to handle things. But Mallory is having her own health issues and doesn’t have the authority to tell others on the stations what to do really. A delegation arrives from Earth with many people Mallory knew even before the sundry. It includes her high school best friend, Amy and Amy’s brothers Parker and Reggie, along with Reggie’s husband and boss, Oscar. But also Agent Draughn who accused Mallory unjustly. There’s also the new ambassador to the station, Jessica.
Oscar is the first dead body to turn up, but others are injured. The communications on the station aren’t working, security just keeps saying everything is fine and med-bay can’t access its databases. Luckily Mallory has friends. Tina for being a bit of a weirdo is strong and more than willing to help. The others see the issues and while they may not want to work with Mallory, they don’t want the problems to continue.
Most of our point of view is from Mallory but we do get some of the other characters like Parker, Draughn, Xan and Tina. Mallory, slowly but surely, talks to people and gathers ideas to narrow down the problems. I really enjoyed all the steps she takes and how she used her own skills even when she lacked help. It was great to learn more about Mallory’s early years and a bit about the new ambassador.
I especially liked learning more about the sundry and other aliens. The series is a bit quirky and fun. The chapter headings are definitely witty: “Law, Order and Tina” “Not My Cat, Not My Rocking Chair” ” Have You Tried Rebooting?” and “Operators Are Standing By.” Tina provides a lot of comic relief in sometimes dire situations.
I really recommend this series if you like like murder mysteries, aliens and quirky fun. I would read the series in order because of the world developments. Chaos Terminal lives up to its name. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this world.
The narrator is different for each of the two books. I have listened to audio and was comfortable with both narrations. Because there was a lag time of about a year, I didn’t have any trouble in the change, although sometimes I do. The voices for the characters seemed distinct and appropriate. The narration performance improved my enjoyment of the story. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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