Reviews of Moonfall (1998)
Review by johnafair (2008-09-13)
This is a good book in that the scale of the disaster is kept fuzzy and doesn't actually occur until about two thirds of the way through the novel. Right up until this point, the politicians try to steer a mid point between not doing anything - after all what could be done to stop a comet travelling at over 400 miles an hour, and reacting in what might have been seen to have been an over-the-top fashion by forcing evacuations to unprepared locales.
The main point of view character is Charlie Haskell, the American Vice President, one of those most affected by the event as he's on the newly opened Moonbase to open it. We also see the developing situation from the points of view of various other people throughout the States - the centre of the impact.
Review by clong (2005-08-23)
Moonfall certainly is a page turner, that builds suspense effectively, although at times it becomes a bit predictable. In most of the McDevitt books I have read, politicians are bumbling or evil, so I was surprised that in this book the protagonist is the US vice-president, who just happens to be on the moon to open the new moon base when disaster looms. In this, as in other books, McDevitt is an author who brings together a group of truly diverse characters, who have to work together to accomplish a common goal.
I think the obvious comparison is to Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer, although there are notable difference, not the least of which is that McDevitt's entire story takes place over the course of just a week or so. I'd have to say that I liked both books about the same; Niven's book is in some ways the more ambitious of the two, but certainly has its weaknesses. In any case, either is far superior to the story they used in the movies Armageddon or Deep Impact.