25 January 2015

Book Review: Desert Moon

Desert Moon by Mark Walker

This book was my first foray into a kindle book, and also the first SF novel I've read in ages after a friend of mine recommended it to me.  First up, the author isn't a 'professional' artsy author - he is ex-Naval Officer and war gamer who also writes the a bit of fiction.  Mark may to know to some of you through his Lock 'n Load games*, which you can see here: http://www.locknloadgame.com
Though he has since sold that company and started a new one: Flying Pig Games!

So onto the book.  Initially, I found it a bit difficult to get into actually.  After all the professional reading I've been doing, all that 'critical thinking' really ruins the necessary 'willing suspension of disbelief' necessary for some novels.  I don't like to give spoilers, but there is an essential plot element at the start which I found a little tough to swallow at first.  However, once you do the plot is very enjoyable.

What follows then is a quickly paced story which incorporates some interesting elements including human genetic improvements, international relations played out on a modest but interstellar framework, an insurrection and some major military battles.

Overall, I'm glad I persevered through the first 50 pages (or however that kindle device measures it) to get to the meat of the book.  

I give it a solid 3 and a half stars, tending to 4 out of 5 near the end.  Well worth your time.  I quite enjoyed Mark's writing style and will be checking out some of his other titles.

* Many years ago Comrade James wrote the supplement ANZAC Attack for Mark's Lock 'N Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam game, and I helped him play test the scenarios.  As a nice thank you Mark made us Leader counters in the game! A small world indeed.
In action against the Viet Cong!


  1. I'm just impressed you had time to read this after seeing the stack of class work you have.

    1. Actually, this was due entirely to having it on Kindle. I also put the Kindle app for my phone you see, and found that I was able to sneak in 10 mins here and there throughout the day which is usually 'dead time', because I always had my 'book' with me. Still getting used to the format but from that perspective it was great.

  2. interesting review. I love my kindle for its portability waiting for customers or sitting around waiting for tests to run on laptops etc has never been so interesting :D

    1. Don't think I'll ever go away from reading a real book, but the convenience for casual reading is brilliant

  3. I would give it a 4 out 5 for entrainment but yes, you need to suspend logic on some of the storyline. But it IS a story and a good read. I didn't find the first few pages that hard to stick with but maybe that's because I came at it after drought of reading :-)

    Now how long before you start investigating gaming possibilities????

    1. In fact it was you who got me onto this mate!

      You assume I haven't already made lists for four different companies and acquired two new sets of rules....