This was a very different kind of book, more of a science fiction thriller than anything else. I think our main character is Nick Morrison. He’s a diver, professional, and has been earning his keep by diving to retrieve valuable lost during hurricanes along the Florida coast. People will pay quite a bit of money if you recover something they think is long gone due to the storm. What they don’t know is that while Nick and his partner, Ryder Stillman, are not the honest hard working divers they appear to be. Oh, they do recover peoples stuff, they just don’t return all of it! What they don’t return is fenced through some contacts Ryder has and they make somewhat of a decent living as long as the storms stay around.
Nick isn’t all that happy about the arrangement. So, on one dive while Ryder was after something, Ryder’s equipment got caught and he couldn’t move himself. Nick figured this would be a way to get rid of Ryder and his evil intentions; just let him run out of oxygen while trapped under water. It had happen to divers before. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Nick. Ryder had managed to free himself and also found a gun so he came after Nick. He didn’t kill him outright because there would be witness, but Nick knew that he needed to separate himself from Ryder as soon as possible.
Nick does manage to get himself free of Ryder’s company. He’s tending to one of the rescued, an older lady in a wheelchair when he happens to me up with the daughter, Charlie! Charlie is a divorcee with a young daughter herself. Charlie apparently is pretty well off and the company she works for or is a partner in, has a helicopter ready to take her Mother, Charlie and daughter, Anna back to Orlando. They offer Nick a ride which he readily accepts. On the way, Charlie and Nick have a conversation that might give Nick the break he’s been looking for. It seems Charlie is a partner in NewSpace, a space startup that has some ideas about making the moon profitable. Nick is interested since he’s always thought he would like to go into space, but he just didn’t figure they could use a diver no matter how qualified. So, after the short trip to Orlando, they part ways.
Not long after that, NewSpace is set to launch a space craft to the moon with a crew of six aboard. This is a very expensive venture to say the least. They have to make this work and then get the work done to setup the new “Big Sling” or a larger Moon to Earth launch capability. With the Big Sling, they could launch much larger payloads toward Earth of scarce minerals that are found in abundance on the Moon. Of course, they have to get the Big Sling built and operational and that’s what this crew are scheduled to do. Charlie knows that being a diver is a lot like working in a space suit and a space environment. She manages to offer Nick a job as a potential flight crew, but it turns out he’s only relegated to backup. He goes through all the training wishing he were on the first flight, but soon that wish goes away.
Just after launch, something goes terribly wrong. The space craft suffers a catastrophic explosion just after it leaves Earth orbit. No one is quite sure what happened. But NewSpace has to get another crew ready and get back on schedule. So Nick is now part of the new crew. But, things are going so well for NewSpace. There were or are some shady deals going on that Nick isn’t aware of, but Charlie certainly is. She’s not completely involved in these shady deals, but as long as it doesn’t harm the company, she doesn’t press anyone further. She should have.
Apparently, NewSpace is about to go broke. When they first formed, some of the other partners made a killing on stock purchases with insider knowledge of the Little Sling going into operation. This was an operation demo of their lunar launch capability on a smaller scale. Now the SEC was looking into those stock transactions and some of the partners were probably going to jail. What his meant for Nick and his fellow space craft crew was that they might get to the moon, but would they or could they ever get back.
This story has a lot going on. Unfortunately, everything that happens on Earth gets just as nasty on the moon. People on the moon, which with other countries already setting up sites for mining is getting quite populated, are just as bad as they are on Earth, except they don’t think they’re accountable to anyone. That is a deadly attitude.
While this book could have been the end of the story, it seems this series will continue. “[Moon 2.0”](https://amzn.to/3QSgI52) is available on Amazon and it seems to be the 2nd book of a 3 book series. Very, very good reading.