Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gunpowder Moon” as Want to Read:
Gunpowder Moon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gunpowder Moon

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,425 ratings  ·  248 reviews
A realistic and chilling vision of life on the Moon, where dust kills as easily as the vacuum of space…but murder is even quicker—a fast-paced, cinematic science fiction thriller, this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising.

The Moon smells like gunpowder. Every lunar walker since Apollo 11 has notic
Paperback, 289 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Harper Voyager
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gunpowder Moon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gunpowder Moon

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,425 ratings  ·  248 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Gunpowder Moon
Jeffrey Keeten
”Life is so tenuous on Luna’s desiccated expanse that staying alive is an endeavor practiced with almost religious fervor. No one ever deserts another man on the Moon. Race, creed, religion, flag---none of that crap matters. Dechert would risk his life for any Chinese digger in distress, as long as they were within range. And he knew they would do the same for him.

At least until what happened to Cole.”

 photo earth-moon-system_zpswvfmtzi5.jpg
The Moon---”Earth’s naked shadow.”

When survival is paramount, we are drawn together in the
Will Byrnes
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
We are still the beast, and we always will be. And all this stuff that we fight over—power, money, territory, helium-3—it’s little more than a carcass on an African plain.
Serenity 1 most definitely deserved its name as a peaceful place. But things change. Dechert is in charge of this Level 1 Lunar outpost, and his death-free record at the base has just been liquidated with extreme prejudice, a shaped charge under a manual hatch on a lunar crawler. Ka-boom! Bad enough the damage from the cha
A murder mystery at the moon!


In a near future, the Moon becomes a key resource to get Helium-3 from the moon dust, vital to process fuel for fusion reactors.

Each major political power with space capabilities has its own facility at the Moon, like USA, China and Russia.

Caden Dechert, manager of the American one, is a war veteran and he can’t avoid to notice that the moon dust smells just like gunpowder…

…so it’s not so rare that a murder happens.

Not matter
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free advance copy of this from the publisher for review.

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but if you show me a space helmet with a hole in the visor laying on the surface of the moon…..I’m gonna read that book.

It’s the year 2072 and Earth has just begun to recover from a global climate catastrophe. Part of that comeback has been based on using helium-3 as a fuel source, and since the moon has oodles of the stuff there are now large scale mining operations happening on it
Manuel Antão
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Old-As-Dirt-SF Prop: "Gunpowder Moon" David Pedreira

I used to like Asimov as a kid but grew out of him. All of his characters sound the same ('Now see here') with the worst example being his later "Foundation" books where Asimov-as-he-is and Asimov-as-he-wishes-he-was fly around the universe searching for Earth and meet a shared-consciousness lass with a nice bottom. All of his books are detective novels and end with the hero spending
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The Moon has been a hot topic in science fiction lately. Ian McDonald has his elegantly overstuffed Luna trilogy; Andy Weir gave us an intricately detailed, but overly mechanical procedural, Artemis; John Kessel snuck under the radar with his magnificent utopian epic The Moon and the Other. The cover and description of David Pedreira’s debut novel, Gunpowder Moon, seems to promise a good old-fashioned murder mystery.
It’s a no-brainer, really. Humans have no earthly business living on the moon –
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

When I first found out about Gunpowder Moon, I knew I had to read it. I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi mystery in space, and the novel’s lunar setting further sold me on it.

But this is not just another one of your simple murder mysteries, and the main protagonist is not your typical detective. It is the year 2072, and Caden Dechert is a former Marine heading up a US mining operation on moon. He’s a good leader, drawing fro
The Captain
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! This novel is a murder mystery about the first murder on the moon in 2072. It was a Library Journal Spring/Summer Best Debut Novel and also an Amazon Best Book of the Year Selection. So why didn’t I love it?

To be honest, I am not really sure. I did think that the realities of life on the moon were the best part. I loved that it felt gritty with moondust and that, despite decent technology, everything was worn and in danger of failing due to monetary constraints and politics
Dec 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
I should be the perfect audience for this book. I love infodumps. Give me five pages of detailed engineering or equations and I am a happy reader. I will happily take worldbuilding as a replacement for character. I love science fiction and I love mysteries, and I love the combination of the two enough to read through a lot of crap to find it. And, trust me, you need to be that person in order to like this book.

But I still hated it. I’m still tapping out. And I will tell you why, but first let m
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I’m giving it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. This is a murder mystery set on the moon. Moon related fiction seems to be a popular trend right now, but I’m not complaining.

The writing in this book was excellent. The author does a very good job of expressing the cold desolate landscape. He described various ridges, the way the moon dust levitates in the air as night turns to day, and let’s not forget the smell. Moon dust smells like cordite, or more simply, gunpowder. Hence the name, Gunpowder Moon, a
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 to 4 stars. Science fiction isn’t my thing at all. However this novel intrigued me. (Btw thanks to Harper Collins for the ARC).

It’s 2072 and people live on the moon and are trying to save Earth. When one of the Americans is killed, making history as the first murder on the moon the military shows up and tries to take over production of the HE-3 that Earth needs and to start a fight with the Chinese.

What turned me off was I couldn’t get a visual inside my head of what half these things or l
Heidi The Reader
In a dystopian world where the once powerful countries are now scrambling for fuel, the helium3-rich fields of the moon are a godsend. But when an American miner turns up dead, it may become the new front in a war, not just for control of the Earth, but also the galaxy.

"Cold enveloped him. He opened his eyes in Moon shadow and had to blink to make sure they weren't closed." pg 5

This is a story that could have been a thriller, but it gets bogged down in the technical aspects of life on the moon.
Mike (the Paladin)
I put this on my "Thriller" shelf...but that's being a little generous I think.

I saw this book "touted" and read the synopsis which says (quote) "this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising."

I'm sorry, it isn't and doesn't. This is a fairly standard political story with a slight mystery rolled in (who's behind the bombings and other "disasters" on the Moon at the Moon Base). Are the villains the Chinese...or is the culpri
DNF. Took three chapters before we met a non-male character. Three sentences into that, one of the men is staring at her ass. A couple paragraphs later, we get a detailed description of her appearance (the only other character with such a description was the token POC, naturally) culminating in the main character reflecting on her beauty. Sigh. Goodbye forever. It's 2018 and I don't want to read about white men anymore. Don't @ me. ...more
From the synopsis:

"...this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising."

Whoever wrote this stopped to think, even for a second, that maybe David Pedreira just wanted to be himself and write like himself?
These high octane comparisons are meant to be flattering, but they are not.
They are not.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid political hard scifi that has does some things well but wont set the scifi world on fire. The plot is pretty standard, with a resoltuion that seemed pretty cliched. It was resolved relatively easily. I however like the science behind the moon and its mining. The novel is getting some comparisons to Artemis. I feel like they are completely different in style and structure. Only common feature is the setting being the moon.The characters are a little one dimensional and didnt really captur ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I put this on my "Thriller" shelf...but that's being a little generous I think.

I saw this book "touted" and read the synopsis which says (quote) "this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising."

I'm sorry, it isn't and doesn't. This is a fairly standard political story with a slight mystery rolled in (who's behind the bombings and other "disasters" on the Moon at the Moon Base). Are the villains the Chinese...or is the culpri
Jamie Collins
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
2.5 stars. This is billed as a murder mystery set on the moon, and isn’t that a great cover image? I found it an okay read, but I suspect other fans of science fiction will enjoy it more.

The setting is great, even if the author is too much in love with the technology he has invented. The writing in itself is quite good, except that there was something lacking about the characterization. I didn’t think there was much heart to the story, and the characters never felt like real people.

The plot tech
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of science fiction stories taking place on Luna since I read Tongues of the Moon. Moon-based science fiction is seeing a bit of a revival lately. Between the recent Artemis and New Moon (Luna #1) series (my reviews) there have been more books with the Moon as a setting in a shorter period of time than there have been since The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This book is one of the recent crop.

Writing was OK. I found a couple of sentence fragments. The book would have benefited
Beth Cato
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2017, science
I was provided a galley of the book by the publisher.

A murder mystery on the moon. It's as simple as that, and as awesome as that. Dechert is the chief of a lunar mining operation. He's not young. He's had substantial military experience. He's on the moon to get away from that past and to be the gruff father to his eccentric crew of misfits. But when incidents of sabotage crop up and one of his miners is killed in an explosion, the higher echelons of American forces blame a rival Chinese mining
Kaethe Douglas
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
That was fun. Highly recommended for fans of Cormoran Strike and military fiction: Dechert leads a team of quirky alpha men (and one clever not too girly woman) in a constant battle against the lunar elements. Now he has to try and keep them safe from a murderer, and possibly, a war.

A strong space mystery, the tone and cast are reminiscent of the first book in The Expanse. A tad broody, but it's mostly fast paced and cynical and a promising first novel.

ARC from publisher
Peter Tillman
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, gritty near-future novel of mining, mayhem and murder on the moon, which morphs into bad political stuff. Well-written, good character sketches, nice touches of moral ambiguity. Well, sort of. I particularly liked the ending. A worthy debut, and one of the better novels on living and working on the moon that I've read. Recommended reading: 3.8 stars.

Linda Nagata liked it:
"An excellent near-future thriller. This one’s got it all — realistic technology, an all-too-b
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
In 2072 the moon is populated by several international companies mining the moon's soil for a substance known as Helium-3, a nonradioactive solar isotope that is easily contained and used to power reactors on Earth.

Caden Dechert is in charge of the American mining company. Things appeared to be running smoothly until one of Dechert's crew member is found dead. Suspecting that the death was not an accident, Dechert races against time to find out the truth behind this lunar murder.

"The gunpowder s
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the second half of the 21st century, there are HE3 mines on the moon, a clean energy source. Terra has been severely hurt by global warming, but not in any vague way. There were sudden, huge climate changes due to methane being released by the thawing of old layers off the coast of Washington state. That's a real possibility according to this article. (Another article says nitrous oxide may be a bigger danger, but that came out after this book was published.) Pedreira then sketches the econom ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
**** Review to come. ****
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I received an advanced copy from Harper Voyager in anticipation of a fair review.

Gunpowder Moon started out slow and was heading for a 2 Star level but it picked up about a third of the way through and the final third was excellent, exciting, edge-of-the seat -- really showed the potential of this new author. I'm giving it 4 Stars with the expectation he ups his game on the next one.

Strong point: I really liked his attention to detail on the challenges and everyday living on the moon. You get a
Claudia Putnam
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Could have been more interesting w more science fiction and less politics. I mean, we KNOW the politics, so let's get to the stuff we don't know. Also, this book came out in 2018 and is set in 2072 and is UNBELIEVABLY sexist. There are a total of two women that we see on the moon. The one on "our" station is subjected to ongoing mental commentary from the (male) narrator regarding her appearance. She later is given a promotion due to his recommendation. Presumably she would not have received thi ...more
Samantha (AK)
Mar 08, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at Page 58


The premise is fine, if not terribly original. Typical cast set-up, cookie-cutter protagonist, and it might still have been an ok read for a brain-fried evening but for Lane.

Or, more precisely, Pedreira's portrayal of Lane through Dechert's gaze.

I've read a fair bit of SF. I'd like to think my tolerance for eyeroll-worthy descriptions of The Woman™ is alright. But here it's just the nail in the coffin. Neither the plot nor the writing are strong enough to keep me rea
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
War on the moon, but between Earth factions. The powder keg is set off by a mystery, with many military flashbacks. Mostly from the main character's point of view - with a great start as he tests "jump jets" in the dark.

Our main character is former military and would just as soon there be peace on the moon. The US and China apparently don't, so while solving the mystery he must also try to hold back a shooting war. This story has a lot of tech and mentions of moondust (which smells like gunpowde
Ian Luther
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Alright, let's distill this book down to the main points and save everyone some time:

-war is bad
-non-soldiers don't know war is bad
-sometimes war is kind of fun though
-but it's still bad
-people who are in war are sad
-people who used to be in war are still sad
-people die in war and its sad
-softy bureaucrats do bad stuff with war
-women are magical creatures
-space is dangerous

That's the bulk of it. This book seems like what you get when you enjoy sci-fi and war novels so you try and write your own,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • No Way (Frank Kitteridge #2)
  • One Way
  • A Pale Light in the Black (NeoG #1)
  • Spaceside (Planetside #2)
  • System Failure (Epic Failure Trilogy #3)
  • The Razor
  • A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers, #1)
  • Trouble Magnet (Pip & Flinx #12)
  • Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution
  • Semiosis (Semiosis Duology, #1)
  • The Lady Heiress (The Zero Enigma Book 8)
  • The King's Man (The Zero Enigma #7)
  • Driving the Deep (Finder Chronicles, #2)
  • Red Moon
  • The Last Astronaut
  • A Difficult Conversation: How to Talk to Trump Supporters
  • Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries, #4)
  • Deep Past
See similar books…
A former reporter for newspapers including the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times, David Pedreira won awards for his writing from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has also served as a corporate communications director for enterprise software and telecommunications comp ...more

Articles featuring this book

Browse through the most popular book club titles on Goodreads, and you'll notice the same genres over and over again: historical fiction,...
53 likes · 46 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“If you ever do something as cosmically stupid as that again, at least get it on video. You'll need a keepsake of this place when I fire your ass, and nobody will ever believe this one when you get back on the beach." 

Cole Benson grinned. "Right. I can't even screw up good." 

"Then don't screw up at all.” ”
Even grief can be selfish. 1 likes
More quotes…