All the Moonlight on Earth

Fiction - Literary
364 Pages
Reviewed on 02/13/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jesse Muehlbauer is a novelist and essayist. After having lived on both coasts, he returned to his hometown in Wisconsin where he met his lovely wife, Poe. All the Moonlight on Earth is his debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sheena Monnin for Readers' Favorite

All the Moonlight on Earth by Jesse Muehlbauer is a suspense-filled thriller that explores the concept of a portal (called the Alignment) that allows humans to quickly move between Earth and its moon. Set in the 1950s, the era of Sputnik and the race to the moon, the main character, Gillen, finds himself still reeling over the loss of his wife, Cate, and faced with a missing daughter. One of the few on the team who built the two Hexagon buildings that attach to the Alignment, Gillen takes his daughter through the Alignment to the moon. As fate would have it, nefarious entities conspire to take advantage of the timing of his daughter’s awareness of the Alignment and the timing of the big reveal of the Alignment and the Hexagons to the public. Gillen’s daughter goes missing and what he discovers about his entire life on earth is called into question, altering his perception of himself and the people he trusts.

All the Moonlight on Earth by Jesse Muehlbauer is a powerfully written thriller with a delightfully unexpected plot. Fast-paced, yet emotionally aware, this story presents the possibility of parallel existences, space travel, and attempts to rewrite the lives of people. I really liked the surprises in the plot. The author does a splendid job of dropping hints and revealing important nuggets of information that help the reader understand the whole picture as the plot unfolds. The concept of the story is compelling, and the writing style is clear, concise, and elevated. Engaging characters and a captivating storyline make this book a pleasant read.

Grant Leishman

All the Moonlight on Earth by Jesse Muehlbauer is a quirky and clever science fiction look at the concepts of multiple universes and teleportation. It is October 1957 and the United States is experiencing a national collective feeling of depression. The Soviets have beaten the U.S. into space and Sputnik is currently circling the globe every ninety-six minutes. What the general public is unaware of is that in a laboratory in San Francisco, a group of entrepreneurial scientists has already achieved much more than putting a mere satellite into orbit. Gillen Rainer and his team are about to announce to the world that they have perfected what they call, “The Alignment”; a direct portal to the moon. In fact, they have already built a base on the moon that they envisage being a place of peace where various ambassadors can meet and hammer out peace agreements, without the pressures of Earth. Gillen, a recent widow, is currently bringing up their thirteen-year-old daughter but is still haunted by the memories of his first true love, a young girl called Danielle. When Gillen takes his daughter through the portal to the moon, to show her their great achievement, he will set in motion a chain of events that will see parallel universes collide and the participants having to address their own issues of loss, love, and the future.

All the Moonlight on Earth is one of those novels that rather creeps up on you and eventually grabs your attention to the point that you can no longer put it down until you see where it is leading. The author’s descriptive style fully allows the reader to absorb the characters and their locations, making him or her feel a real part of this story. All the Moonlight on Earth is a well-thought-out, well-written, and easy-to-read novel that pushes the boundaries of what we know, what we know we don’t know, and more importantly perhaps, what we don’t know we don’t know. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can highly recommend it.

Vincent Dublado

All The Moonlight on Earth by Jesse Muehlbauer is a thought-provoking sci-fi tale that should be on the top of your speculative fiction list. In the world of the story, the year is 1957. Gillen Rainer is still trying to come to terms with the death of his wife. This left many questions that needed answering, even for his thirteen-year-old daughter, Allaire. Gillen and his team are on the brink of revealing a quantum leap in space exploration that will put the United States at the top of the space race—the Alignment. It is a machine in harmony with the laws of general relativity. It is about moving the human race forward, not just to the moon, not just to Mars, but to becoming a multi-planet dwelling species.

All the Moonlight on Earth is the kind of literary science fiction that deserves a bigger audience. Other than having a good structure, it is so well-written and the space panorama so well-visualized that I find myself agreeing with the concept of Alignment, even if it falls into a very heavy scientific explanation. Jesse Muehlbauer makes the most of his story by making the jargon an essential component of the plot. He puts his protagonist into the most complicated moral situation when having to deal with his other self. It runs the gamut of mystery, romance, family, and adventure with a sensibility that puts you in a reflective mood. If you haven’t read any science fiction books this year so far, I recommend that you immerse yourself in this one.

Rabia Tanveer

All the Moonlight on Earth: A Literary Suspense Novel by Jesse Muehlbauer is the story of resilience, determination, and rising above dangerous situations. No one was more surprised than Gillen when his wife Cate died in an accident on the Bay Bridge. Some believed it was an accident, while some believed she committed suicide. Gillen and their daughter Allaire were devastated by the news, but life must go on. So, Gillen put on a brave face and started his work to travel to the moon with his team. A portal between earth and moon called the Alignment can make traveling to and from the moon exceptionally easy. Gillen and his team believed they were ready to start the space race and finish it on their own terms. Getting to the moon was the easy part, but nothing could have prepared them for the disaster that struck when they were most vulnerable. Before Gillen knew it, he had to rescue his daughter before it was too late.

The past played a very important role in this story, and you could tell that right from the moment the story began. Cate, even though dead, had more influence on both Gillen and Allaire than I thought. She was a constant companion to both father and daughter even in death. The message of the story was simple: let go of the past, look forward to the future, and live in the present. However, Jesse Muehlbauer wrapped this message up in a beautifully composed story of a father’s journey to accepting his grief, protecting his daughter, and relearning to live. The world-building was great, and the concept of The Alignment was unique. The pace is a tad slow, but it suits the flow of the story. The mood was gloomy and bleak in the beginning, but that changed to determination and motivation as the story progressed. I highly recommend All the Moonlight on Earth!