Rebecca Scherm’s A House Between Earth and the Moon grapples with a gaggle of red-hot current issues ... She packs them all into the powerful rocket engine of climate disaster — the biggest, baddest issue of all — and launches the whole shebang into space ... It’s a rocking ride. The novel is propulsive, captivating, touching, funny — and utterly terrifying ... It’s so frightening because this future world becomes so vividly, devastatingly real.
The novel makes us feel the terror of a 2030s Earth where extreme weather events are so common that whole cities routinely burn to the ground and even the affluent have become nomadic, always one step ahead of natural disasters ... the reader never loses the sense of how precarious this existence is, and how terrifying it is to depend on the whims of corporate bosses for one’s survival. In that regard, it feels a lot like life on Earth in 2022. The author’s clear, relatable voice and close personal focus make the book compulsively readable ... Scherm manages the difficult trick of making us care about...essentially unsympathetic characters, but neglects to explain how Views is meant to work, or why hiring Tess to watch their subjects go to the bathroom would be of use. Similar weaknesses undercut the novel’s ending, which focuses on individual emotions in a way that feels increasingly trivial, while failing to offer a convincing resolution to the political and environmental crises. But in general, A House Between the Earth and the Moon is a thought-provoking and absorbing read.
Scherm gives this speculative-fiction saga a dark and addictive plot ... Fast-paced narrative ... Scherm’s character-driven sf story centers on individuals working against the clock to find a solution to climate change ... Scherm beautifully captures emotion in her writing as she shows how important connection is to our shared humanity.
[A] polished but hollow big data parable ... Scherm’s crisp prose smooths over complex interpersonal machinations and tends to overexplain its own allegories, leaving character motivations and themes feeling obvious. The broad range of issues, meanwhile, all get the same scant treatment; rape culture, for example, becomes mere window dressing. Fans of Emily St. John Mandel or Liz Harmer will appreciate Scherm’s burning world, but miss the emotional intelligence.
A high-concept domestic novel that merges science fiction and eco-fiction tropes while braiding a host of characters and subplots ... It’s all a lot—too much, really, for a novel that works the familiar theme that a change of scenery won’t erase our flaws. But credit Scherm for striving to give the climate change novel a wider yet still realistic scope and for creating some nuanced characters...who are both eager to do the right thing but undone by humanity, its fickle nature, and its allegedly liberating but often self-imprisoning technologies. An ambitious, sometimes cumbersome dystopian tale.