The Bottom Line: A timely and captivating techno thriller about the militarization of the moon and its consequences for Planet Earth.
2025, Washington D.C. A missile strikes the Capitol during the State of the Union address, wiping out the country’s executive leadership and leaving a dire power vacuum. Fifteen terror groups claim responsibility, but when the missile origin is traced to a moon launch, the eye of suspicion rests squarely upon China.
As the United States transitions to an emergency military-run government, and all-out war with China seems inevitable, a husband-wife team of Lazarus and Dr. Karen Coles join forces to find out who ordered the attack, and why.
T.R. Locke’s thriller is well-timed, as news about moon colonization and exploitation – ranging from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, NASA and congress – are at levels not seen since the 1970s. Locke’s portrayal of the new space race for lunar militarization and its consequences is thought-provoking and believable. When it comes to space and human physicality, Locke uses science (e.g. muscle atrophy after prolonged space travel) to make action scenes extremely compelling.
As with anything in the sci-fi or techno thriller genres, willing suspension of disbelief is required with Lunar Options, but some fans may have a hard time with the book’s loose handling of America’s longstanding line of succession rules (at the federal level, a “designated survivor” from the president’s cabinet always in a safe location during the State of the Union address to avoid a military takeover). Despite taking those artistic liberties, Locke delivers the goods. In all, Lunar Options is a fast page-turner that should make fans of the new school of techno thriller (Douglas E. Richards) and the old school moon-obsessed sci-fi writers (Robert Heinlein) quite happy.