“That, is the equivalent of a tar pit”
THE ADVENTURES OF KIRK ROGERS: INSIDE THE MOON by CJ Boyle is a book that I’d had in my TBR pile for a long time. I am a huge fan of classic sci-fi, humor, and over-the-top space opera action. The title and cover promised all of this and more. However, my TBR pile is a mountain and I never got around to reading it. However, I heard the author was releasing an audiobook so I decided to listen instead.
Lauren Rogers is the sister of the square-jawed Air Force pilot and astronaut-to-be Kirk Rogers. Unfortunately, she has few dreams of her own due to the fact that she’s dying of kidney failure and has been for most of her life. Circumstances change for them both, though, when she’s kidnapped by a mysterious force and finds herself in the hollow jungle-like paradise of the moon!
Kirk, desperate to get her back, takes advantage of recovered alien technology to journey up to the mysterious alien structure that had been built long before humanity crawled out of the primordial ooze. There, they will unlock a fantastic mystery alongside their oddball and quirky associates. Hopefully before the Sun explodes in a few days.
It’s a surprisingly more serious book than I expected. I was expecting something verging on parody but instead got a deep and thoughtful science fiction novel that explored its deliberately silly premise in a serious way. This is a story about our protagonists discovering the moon is hollow and full of alien artifacts but has a lot of fascinating personal moments between the protagonists. Rarely do I encounter that in traditional fiction let alone indie and I want to give the author props for it.
Despite Kirk Rogers being the titular character, I actually believe Lauren Rogers is the real protagonist. A character who has struggled with a debilitating and (eventually) fatal condition, she perseveres with quiet inner strength. You want her to find some kind of miracle cure inside the moon and go on to live a normal life.
There’s a lot of fun in the book as well, including plenty of references subtle and otherwise to past science fiction properties. These are never disruptive to the narrative and are special treats to those who are long term fans of genre fiction. I especially loved all the references to the old Buck Rogers TV show.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book and think fans of science fiction in general will enjoy it. The narration is done by a fantastic voice actor and while it was a bit disconcerting to have the story open on him with Lauren, he does a great job with all the other voices. I also recommend the audiobook over the ebook version due to that stellar performance.