Review: “Delta-V” by Daniel Suarez

Delta-V (A Delta-v Novel) by Daniel Suarez. Dutton. 448 pages.

Daniel Suarez has got to be one of my favorite authors these days, especially when it comes to the genre referred to as techno-thrillers. If you don’t know what a “techno-thriller” is, think of Michael Crichton and his line of books: Andromeda Strain, Congo, and Juraissic Park to name a few. He takes technology and turns it into an exciting suspense story. Suarez has continued where Crichton left off (he died in 2008).

In his latest book, Suarez looks into the possibility of asteroid mining. Before I say any more, here is the summary from Amazon:

When itinerant cave diver James Tighe receives an invitation to billionaire Nathan Joyce’s private island, he thinks it must be a mistake. But Tighe’s unique skill set makes him a prime candidate for Joyce’s high-risk venture to mine a near-earth asteroid–with the goal of kick-starting an entire off-world economy. The potential rewards and personal risks are staggering, but the competition is fierce and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Isolated and pushed beyond their breaking points, Tighe and his fellow twenty-first century adventurers–ex-soldiers, former astronauts, BASE jumpers, and mountain climbers–must rely on each other to survive not only the dangers of a multi-year expedition but the harsh realities of business in space. They’re determined to transform humanity from an Earth-bound species to a space-faring one–or die trying.

When I started reading the book, it started right off in an exciting part of cave diving, but after the first chapter, I realized it was going to be about something else, and at first I was disappointed. The first chapter was chilling, and really gets your attention. But the reality is, Suarez’s writing keeps your attention all the way through. There were many twists and surprises (which I love) and lots of excitement, and at the same time, the characters were definitely there to invest in.

The other thing I was (and always am) impressed with, was Suarez’ foundation in real science. This is hard science stuff, and if you read the acknowledgements at the end of the book, you realize the incredible amount of research he did to prepare for this book. I also discovered this his first draft was 175,000 words long, and he had to cut it, which just goes to show how much depth there is/was in this project. The impression I get is that this will be the first book in a series, which I am excited about.

What I am also excited about is the fact that Suarez is laying out more foundational evidence to show that we should and can be out there–within the next decade or so–doing more in space. I highly recommend this book, but I also recommend reading Andy Weir’s latest book Project Hail Mary. Both are excellent, and stir the juices for space travel.

Delta-V: Five out of five stars. Go get it.