This got onto my list because I read a Goodreads review by one of my friends, and thought I’d like it. I certainly did!
Two journalists on a futuristic magazine (zine) are always on the look-out for stories. They are the number one asset of the zine, and known for cutting edge exposés as well as their restaurant reviews. Due to their past histories, they are also used to communicating with immigrants from all over the solar system – Venusians, Plutonians, Neptunians… well you get the picture. Due to the floods at the Thames Barrier and some heroic work by a group of fluid-loving Neptunians, our journalists get involved in this group, who would love to stay in the area, but there’s a shady politician involved. Meanwhile, one of the journos is exploring the lighter side of London life (did I mention it’s set in a futuristic, and very recognisable London?) by joining a dating site for red-haired people. While colour and race sensitivities have declined, since the advent of the off-Earthers, there is still plenty of prejudice around. Our journalist meets up with Tania, a red-head, sure, but with hair unlike an Earthlings, since it seems to twirl itself towards the sun.
These stories and more keep our heroes on their toes, and we see plenty of the underworld as well as the different norms in society of the future. I was gripped by the tale and the magnificent world-building (just what would Pluto produce that make it worthwhile to export to Earth?), which is coupled with some deep history of the London Underground and other nooks and crannies which those who have lived in London may be familiar. Clare O’Beara has done a great job with this book, the second in a series which started off featuring the inner planets. There’s a third featuring the Gas Giants (Jupiter and Saturn) but they all involve our journalist heroes. And that comes with plenty of tips on keeping yourself out of the public eye or only known for what you want to be known for, very useful for authors developing their presence on the internet!
An excellent read, especially for lovers of societal intrigue.
I gave this book 4 stars – ‘I really liked it’; I’m trying to revamp my rating system this year to be closer to the Goodreads definitions. Amazon stars may be higher.