“Riebeckite” by O. R. Lea – An SPSFC Review

I’m reading and reviewing many books from the Self-Published Science Fiction Contest as a judge. Check out my many posts from the SPSFC (scroll down for more).

Riebeckite by O.R. Lea

An asteroid strike to the moon leads to unknown particles falling on Earth. Are they dangerous, are they benign? Some time ago, Tahira made a promise that the ordeal would bring humanity closer together. Fast forward to now, and that isn’t true. Humanity seems to go on as it always did, with petty rivalries and oppression as the stark reality for so many. When Tahira discovers the Riebeckite is more than meets the eye, many factions are drawn into the fold to find out more or stop her from telling all.

The tension ramps up quickly and maintains the pressure throughout the novel. O.R. Lea does a good job balancing plot exposition with intensity, making the book compulsive reading after a while. There’s enough hard sci-fi mixed in to make the conflict realistic, even as the conflict spans nations. Tahira and Zareen make a great lead pair, with a complex relationship that is believable and touching at times.

I did wonder at times why more people weren’t caught up into the conflict. The nature of the Riebeckite is a central aspect of the book, and one would think that it would be studied by far more people and that many more people would be taken into conspiracy theories, scientific research, and more related to it.

The audiobook was read well, with a pace that was neither too slow nor too fast, and the sound balancing was done well.

I found Reibeckite a fascinating read that combines elements of hard sci-fi, a touch of horror, and even some inspirations from comics together into one coherent whole. I was glad to see it was book one of a series, because I’m interested to read more. Thanks to Lea for a copy of the audiobook!

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