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Review: The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal (2022)

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal (2022)

Synopsis: Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is revelling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling—and keep the real killer from striking again. 

One Word Review: Crochet!

One Sentence Review: A fun and twisty tale of murders, honeymooners and cocktails. 

One(-ish) Paragraph Review: The Spare Man’s contains lots of brilliant parts: there is the normalisation of a mix of gender and pronoun expressions; the main character’s real world experience of her physical and mental trauma; the different gravities for the different passengers throughout the ship; the dialogue that works deftly around a time delay (you’ll see); the unsettling nature of the narrative; And everything keeps moving and keeps the tension. But there was also some awkward parts, at least to me. There is a scene where the two main characters leave another person alone in the next room way too long and that felt unrealistic and jarring. And there are a couple of moments where I felt I’d lost the thread or questioned the character’s uncharacteristic actions. I also think I missed out by not knowing some romance genre cues.  With minor faults,  I found The Spare Man very enjoyable and the reveal was a clever surprise. I’ll definitely read more Mary Robinette Kowal. 

Stars:  3.75/5