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*** - The Launch Party





Ten lucky people have won a place at the most exclusive launch event of the century: the grand opening of the Hotel Artemis, the first hotel on the moon. It's an invitation to die for. As their transport departs for its return to Earth and the doors seal shut behind them, the guests take the next leap for mankind.

However, they soon discover that all is not as it seems. The champagne may be flowing, but there is no one to pour it. Room service is available, but there is no one to deliver it. Besides the ten of them, they are completely alone. When one of the guests is found murdered, fear spreads through the group. But that death is only the beginning. Being three days' journey from home and with no way to contact the outside, can any of the guests survive their stay?


A murder mystery set in a 5-star hotel on the moon? Count me in! Sci-Fi meets Murder Mystery meets Locked Room Thriller in The Launch Party by Lauren Forry.

I was so excited for this one which, if you’re a frequent reader of my blog you’ll know, only ever usually spells disaster! I thought the location of this book was really exciting – a luxurious hotel with the twist of space travel – no staff, temperamental building controls and creepy music playing in the foyer. Unfortunately, the story itself could have really been set anywhere and it stretched the realism to have the added hassle and people involved to make the premise work.

There are a lot of characters and the narrative flicks between them somewhat at random and sometimes with little warning that you have switched perspective which I hope will be fixed before final publication. There’s a Detective, a Journalist, a Doctor, a Billionaire, a TV Star, a Fan, a Student, a Racist (!), a Lawyer and an Architect. This feels like far too many characters for a whodunnit and I got a lot of them mixed up, particularly at the beginning. Also, the characters that were at the centre of the plot were also the ones that weren’t focussed on very much in the earlier narrative and so I found it hard to particularly care that much about them by the end!

The conclusion of the story felt a bit like the author was just trying to sandwich in as many characters as possible into the reveal – as if needing to justify the reason for her red herrings which was a bit of a shame. I also found it a little silly that some key information (alibis, clues, sightings etc) were not disclosed from certain characters with no narrative reason given as to why, other than it would ruin the ending of the book.

However, for all of its faults, The Launch Party did hook me in and keep my engaged throughout. If you like locked-room style thrillers and sci-fi, this might be the book for you! Thank you to NetGalley & Bonnier Books – Zaffre for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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