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The Last Dance

(The Near-Earth Mysteries #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  970 ratings  ·  113 reviews
At the heart of a mystery unfolding in space, the opposing forces make a treacherous journey between Earth and Mars.

In space, mutiny means death—that’s why Inspector General Park Yerim is taking her investigation so seriously. The alleged mutineer is Captain Nicolau Aames, whose command of the massive Earth-Mars vessel Aldrin has come under fire. The vast System Initiative s
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Kindle Edition, 456 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by 47North
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Fay Brown I've just finished this and there wasn't any sexual content - a retelling of a relationship in one part, but from the outside no descriptions of the…moreI've just finished this and there wasn't any sexual content - a retelling of a relationship in one part, but from the outside no descriptions of the act itself! In terms of profanity, I can't say I noticed it was a feature of the book but can't say for certainty that there isn't the occasional mild swear; there are some problems in space so I wouldn't be surprised if someone made an exclamation. It certainly didn't stick out as one of those books where everyone is foul-mouthed. Hope that helps!(less)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  970 ratings  ·  113 reviews


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Charles  van Buren
Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: November 1, 2019
Publisher: 47North
Language: English
ASIN: B07KS83CGJ
456 pages

This novel is hard sci-fi similar to that which I used to read in the 1960's and 70's. Rather than very distant future science, the technical details are based on logical advances in current science, particularly some work by famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Even with the emphasis on hard science, the story line and character development are
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Liviu
An excellent novel - I got it absolutely by chance as it featured in the Amazon prime email with the selection for the beginning of the month free prime book (which I generally ignore as I already have enough books on deck so to speak...), but the title, synopsis, and cover of this one attracted my attention and then I saw some very enthusiastic reviews, so I decided to give it a try and while the first few pages are kind of boring and almost made me put it aside, I did my usual routine on promi ...more
Julie Davis
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The last time I enjoyed a new science fiction author this much was when I read Leviathan Wakes. Like that book, this one feels like something from the Golden Age of Science fiction, while being something brand new.

Inspector General Park conducts a series of "off the record" interviews while investigating charges of mutiny against the captain of a Martian-bound spaceship. That's the framework for a series of stories that range from mystery to Martian survival to estranged love. All ar
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Kimberly Lynne
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got my geek on. A multi-POV tale of a Mars-bound mutiny . . . or was it? Bonus points for diverse cast.

The story is primarily told during "off the record" crew interviews about Capt. Nick Aames so that investigator Park Yerim can gain background on the personality and person of the accused. I found the second such "deposition" - that of Bosun Smitty, to track way into the technical weeds - Literally the nuts and bolts of a particular incident. Those pages read more like The Martian's "science t
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Patrick
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A series of shorts tied together well

I hope there are more Near-Earth mysteries because this was a great background universe and the characters totally pop. The characters each have a nicely written backstory and the dialogue develops the characters.

Well put together book with a neat background universe. I'm looking at his other books.
Dave C
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good Reading

I enjoyed this book. The author did an excellent job of creating characters whose stories came to life via an effective combination of introspective thoughts, off the record conversations and formal depositions.

The setting of the “Express train” between Earth and Mars was described in the very first chapter showing where this was based on astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s plan “Cyclic Trajectory Concepts,” published in 1985. I admit that I didn’t really understand the concept afte
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Guy Marsden
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Good story but structural flaws bugged me.
Every chapter begins from the perspective of a character as if they are sharing their experience verbally but the writing style does not support this. It jumps to omniscient 3rd person and each character sounds just like the last. So for the first page or 2 of each chapter I struggled with willing suspension. It really got in the way of a fluid read. Also every character male, female, British or Brazilian spoke in the same "voice" - that of an aver
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S.G. Willoughby
I'm not sure how to rate this. On the one hand, this was some pretty GREAT writing. On the other hand, there was some immoral content that I strongly object to.

Likes:
-The world-building! There was a lot of very technical concepts and words in this book, but I loved it! I loved how much it was based on real-world theories and the fact that the author worked for NASA (if I'm not mistaken) certainly didn't hurt the believability of it all. All the small details were what really go
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Paul DiBara
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A story set in a future very close at hand. In the expanse between Earth and Mars is an expanding technological vessel, Aldrin, composed of tubes, spokes, and artificial gravity that is hanging together based on the brains, brawn, bravery and shear tenacity of the engineers, technicians and support personnel who keep everything working according to plan. This entire complex is also a traveling community with the purpose of moving people and material between the earth and a new outpost of humanit ...more
George1st
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a regular reader of science fiction but what I'm looking for when I do read it is to encounter imagination, entertainment and hopefully if I'm lucky to gain a little knowledge. On all three counts Martin L Shoemaker has succeeded here. Reading from the author's notes and biography it is clear that he is well versed on the mechanics and requirements of space travel to Mars, indeed he describes himself as "a programmer who writes on the side."

From this technical basis he has us
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Linwood Ferguson
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most unique science fiction books I have read lately. It is reminiscent of some older Asimov sci-fi mysteries, modernized both in terms of science and more sophisticated in terms of society. Well rooted in science and a realistic space faring period, it avoids entirely some semi-magical late-breaking scientific solution, and instead develops characters deeply and generally realistically (I might argue that despite carefully built foundation the main character is still a bit d ...more
Jeff Miller
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Usually not a fan of stories told out of sequence with different narrators. This novel totally pulls it off and makes the story better. The overall idea of an after action investigation into a captain who has defied orders doesn't sound all that interesting. Yet this character driven story still has lots of excitement along with the feel of space exploration. Pretty much enjoyed from start to finish.
Will Ockelmann-Wagner
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mystery in space, can't go wrong

This book brought together some of my favorite elements in a book - an interesting mystery (or two), vignettes from different perspectives, and believable space mechanics. Definitely shades of The Martion with the space engineering challenges, but also lots of good character development as we learn more about the history of some of the players. A fun read!
Gonzalo Fernández-Victorio
This is a sci-fi novel. It narrates the investigation followed by a military inspector about mutiny in a sort of a big spaceship around 2080. Through the log of the investigation, one discovers the personality of the Captain that was leading the vessel at the time.

The story is interesting, but the narrative is irregular. The preface tells the idea of the vessel (a Martian Cycler). Which is quite interesting (personally I didn't know about Cyclers), but it is written as outside of the
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Donald
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous sci-fi legal thriller

I began expecting a space opera. It is the beginning for sure, but this is an incredible, logic game that acts as a construction platform for a new and I think long term universe building
Becca Stott
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much to dork out to, and it’s like, still good

Wowmdeeful chrcyet development and scientifically speaking engaging. I wish I was in so e. The end. (Written without etje aid of spellcheck)
J FRANKS
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down

Great science fiction. Good plot, good science, good characters. What more can you ask for? The ending is a bit too easy but still works.
Mitchell Schneidkraut
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best SciFi books I have read in a long time

This is an outstanding book that was easy to get into and one that was hard to put down.

I liked the way the different characters were the narrator for the sections they were telling about.

The character development was great and it was easy to empathize with what the characters were going through.

I look forward to reading more of Martin's works
Vanessa Perry
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Want to read
Mrs Lianne Fitzpatrick
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting

I hadn't read any science fiction for years but this intrigued me. I found the start slow going but persevered and was glad I had. The plot builds to a fascinating tale showing how truth is a matter of perspective. The characters are well-rounded and we get to know each one through a series of conversations. The future, as imagined, feels believable and the ”geek-speak” doesn't overshadow the story.
David
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hard to out down

A real page turner, pretty convincing scientific details. The format of the book is more like a series of short stories as flashbacks supporting the overall narrative, but still this was a compelling story
Charles Daniel
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Hybrid Science-Fiction Mystery Novel set aboard a vessel which is as much a city as it is a ship.

N.C.I.S. In Space! Space! Pace! Ace! Sort of, in a way, if you close one eye and look at it sideways. For I.G. Park Yergim the case begins with an order to catch a shuttle in seven minutes to take her to the I.S. Aldrin to investigate the charge of mutiny against the Captain and crew of that vessel and render her verdict. Unfortunately, events continue to race ahead as Admirals, billionaires, a
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Steve Jacobs
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great story, couldn't stop reading it.

First time I have read this author, thank you Amazon Prime! Loved the characters, the setting, and the plot. Shoemaker has crafted a captivating novel. Please read it.
Matthew Adkins
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read!

This was a fantastic book! I just couldn't put it down. I was so reminded of David Drake"s "Starliner" mixed with a bit of "Airport" and a bit of "Hotel." Can't wait to read the next one.
Leon Hanouille
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book

Fascinating. Intriguing. Extremely well written. Good character development. Thoroughly enjoyable, so much so that it was hard to put down for meals or sleep.
Rick  Jackofsky
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This a serious piece of science fiction writing, in the tradition of Asimov and Heinlein, very well done, thank you Mr. Shoemaker.
Irabel
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good story.

I think Mr. Shoemaker is a man to watch in modern SF. The only reason I don't give five stars is because this story is not quite Ender's Game yet. But the potential is indeed that high.
Lin L Barrett
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can't fault it

There is no single flaw in any part of this book. It's a very complex story, perfectly executed.

Stupid people won't like it, but they don't generally read science fiction to start with.

That the characters are as well-drawn as the science is clearly explained may be its only drawback. This is the work of a person who understands people. Of all the current and past science fiction authors of whom I am aware, only C.J. Cherryh and the late Sherri S. Tepp
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Linda Franklin
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent first novel

Although some readers may get bogged down in the technical details, the careful, deliberate unfolding of the story, the delineation of the human interactions, and the realistic nature of this near-future exploration all combine to create a compelling story with a most satisfying resolution.
Riki
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
You care so you finish but

Good characters you care about them and want to know how it all ends up. But very long winded and the stories within the story become repetitive, too detailed for the purpose they serve ( opinions will vary in this i am sure) and too many. Found myself page scanning not reading until the last chapter. Do recommend this read but it gets tedious feel free to fast forward.
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