Book Review: The Launch Party by Lauren Forry

THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME. YOU’D DIE TO BE THERE.

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?

I spotted this one being talked about on twitter and promptly popped over to Netgalley to request a copy – I’m so glad I did, I absolutely loved this book! It had me gripped all the way through. It was a remarkable piece of book craft, with characters who were fascinating (if not all likeable) and plenty of mysteries to keep the reader turning the page while never feeling contrived. No mean feat for a murder mystery set on the moon!

I loved the concept of this, such a brilliant setting for a locked room mystery story – there literally is no way the guests can go outside or anyone can sneak in, no need for storms that last a longer than usual time or contrived equipment failures – just 10 people stranded in what amounts to a high class space station on the moon.

Although the book switched between the characters we were watching I think its fair to say that Penelope was our main character and way into the story. She was instantly a character I wanted to get to know better, and we did get that throughout the book. Her reasons why she had entered the competition to go to the moon and how she got to know the other guests. We got to know more about all of the characters over the course of the book but Penelope remained the focus.

If you love a good murder mystery this one definitely needs to go on your 2023 tbr list! I stayed up far too late reading it and couldn’t wait to get back to it – always the mark of a gripping book!

With thanks to Bonnier Books UK and Netgalley for a digital copy in exchange for honest review.

The Launch Party will publish 22/06/2023