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Guest Review: CHAOS TERMINAL by Mur Lafferty


Mallory Viridian would rather not be an amateur detective and fled to outer space to avoid it…but when one of the new human arrivals on a space shuttle is murdered, she’s back in the game. Mallory Viridian would rather not be an amateur detective, thank you very much. But no matter what she does, people persist in dying around her—and only she seems to be able to solve the crime. After fleeing to an alien space station in hopes that the lack of humans would stop the murders, a serial killer had the nerve to follow her to Station Eternity. (Mallory deduced who the true culprit was that time, too.) Now the law enforcement agent who hounded Mallory on Earth has come to Station Eternity, along with her teenage crush and his sister, Mallory’s best friend from high school. Mallory doesn’t believe in coincidences, and so she’s not at all surprised when someone in the latest shuttle from Earth is murdered. It’s the story of her life, after all. Only this time she has more than a killer to deal with. Between her fugitive friends, a new threat arising from the Sundry hivemind, and the alarmingly peculiar behavior of the sentient space station they all call home, even Mallory’s deductive abilities are strained. If she can’t find out what’s going on (and fast), a disaster of intergalactic proportions may occur.…


GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

Opening Lines:

“A sentient space station should have perfect temperature, Mallory Viridian thought. This has got to be far below freezing. When the station imitated weather, it should be Los Angeles weather, not Pluto's bloodred snow.”

Last year’s debut of Station Eternity had me sit up and take notice of the "The Midsolar Murders" series. Author Mur Lafferty’s aliens were truly alien, and her sentient station was as alien as all the rest. The humans were few and needed to adjust to how things worked in the great black of space. A murder mystery in this environment even had an alien-feel. Book 1 was incredible, and I was salivating for the next, Chaos Terminal.


Mallory was a tough sell for me in the first book. I wanted to space her because of her whining about her issues. Granted, they were pretty extreme since she is a murder magnet and received a load of blame from law enforcement and danger from those she exposed in turn. But Mallory seemed on her way to accepting her situation, particularly now that she knows why, and I was into her all the way. 


At once, everything turns topsy-turvy again: Mallory must face a personal crisis caused by the alien bugs she associates with; there is a broader crisis that involves the whole station; and Tina is working to start a war within her race with Eternity Station stuck in the middle. I enjoyed getting more of Mallory’s backstory and connections with the people who come with hidden motives and not so hidden tension that leads to a murder. She stumbles a bit on this case but engages her detective skills even while doubting her abilities. Loved how she worked through that struggle.


Chaos Terminal pulls in narration from others beyond Mallory including her friends, Xan, Tina, Stephanie, Adrian, and some of the new humans, adding depth to the storyline, and I enjoyed the build to the action and how Mallory works to solve the latest case while chaos reigns on Eternity. 

Be forewarned, Chaos Terminal assumes the reader is up to speed on the series’ worldbuilding, setting, background, and characters in Station Eternity, so it doesn’t make for a good starting point in the series. In fact, Book 2 picks up just after the dust barely settles in the previous events.

Another great outing in the series for those who want an out of this world murder mystery. But I also recommend you begin with Book 1, Station Eternity, for greater enjoyment.


Chaos Terminal by Mur Lafferty

#2 Midsolar Murders

Sci-Fi Mystery

Publisher: Ace

Published:  11.7.23

Pages:  380

Rating: 4.5 stars


Mur Lafferty is an author and podcaster from Durham, NC. She made her name with podcasting (I Should Be Writing, Ditch Diggers, and Escape Pod) and has written for magazines, roleplaying games, and audio and video podcasts.

She's the author of Station Eternity, The Ophelia Network, Solo: A Star Wars Story, I Should Be Writing, Six Wakes, The Shambling Guides, and part of the team that writes Bookburners.

2018 Hugo, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Manly Wade Wellman Best Novel nominee (Six Wakes)

2018, 2017 Hugo Best Fancast nominee (Ditch Diggers)

2014, 2015 WINNER Manly Wade Wellman Award (The Shambling Guide to New York City & Ghost Train to New Orleans)

2013 WINNER Astounding (John W. Campbell) Award for Best New Writer

"...the doyenne of scifi podcasting." ~Cory Doctorow,

Connect with Mur Lafferty via her website.


Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.

Connect with Sophia via FACEBOOK GOODREADS TWITTER  


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