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A Fantastical Journey During the Space Race - an Editorial Review of "All the Moonlight on Earth"

All the Moonlight on Earth book cover

Book Blurb:

A year after the tragic loss of his wife, Gillen Rainer is struggling to find closure. Unanswered questions linger even for his thirteen-year-old daughter, Allaire, who seeks solace in a memory far beyond her recollection. 

As Sputnik orbits the globe every ninety-six minutes, Gillen and his team are set to announce a surprise of their own. The Alignment-a portal connecting the earth and the moon-is ready for visitors, effectively ending the space race before it has even begun. 

But when his daughter decides to set foot on the moon... alone, Gillen is forced to confront the unrelenting power of past choices and future perils in this remarkable literary drama that answers the question, "What happened to Allaire?"

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Author Bio:

Jesse Muelhbauer author photo

Jesse Muehlbauer is a novelist and co-host of "Good Story Live!" He’s been heard on hundreds of stations across America during his decade-long career as a network broadcaster. Author of the 1950s science fiction suspense drama "All the Moonlight on Earth", Jesse’s debut novel has won the acclaim of critics and readers alike. He has lived on both coasts and now resides in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he met the love of his life… Poe.

Editorial Review:

Gillen Rainer bristled as the memory struck him. The thought clouded his vision as he stood at the crowded intersection while awaiting his turn to cross, seemingly oblivious to the droplets of rain which were pelting away at his overcoat. Dusk had been rapidly gaining ascendancy over the skyline, leaving the city below it in a rush to conclude the day. Those shackled to unrelenting deadlines or unexpected projects were easily spotted in their fluorescent offices throughout the downtown skyscrapers. The lights emitting from their windows beaconed as a public declaration of either their pride in working too hard or else their punishment for not working hard enough.

We are launched directly into this story right from chapter one. The novel's first sentence pulls the reader in right away and establishes the tone for the remainder of the book. Muehlbauer masterfully creates curiosity and excitement in the opening paragraph, enticing readers to read on into the story. This compelling start lays the groundwork for the drama and mystery that develop throughout the book.

With a deft fusion of science fiction, poignant mystery, and emotional nuance, Jesse Muehlbauer captures readers' attention with All the Moonlight on Earth. The novel's idea - a portal between Earth and the Moon - lays the framework for an inventive and engrossing tale that explores themes of loss, discovery, and the eternal bond between a father and his daughter. Muehlbauer's masterful use of these elements demonstrates his exceptional storytelling ability and produces a compelling story that is both deeply moving and thought-provoking.

Allaire nodded and smiled, fully aware of her father’s attempt to derail her train of thought and fully aware that he knew it too. “I’m starving. Can we go to that place along the Embarcadero?”

The pall that hung over the humans encompassing the city of San Francisco had not been lifted as Gillen and Allaire ventured out into the void. Shell-shocked faces walked past them on the sidewalks, in the streetcar, and at the restaurant. Gillen and Allaire had made no agreement to be mindful of their countenance, no discussion of preapproved topics of conversation, and had made no pacts to cheer up those with whom they interacted.

They simply decided to live like they were alive.

Imagine,” Walter Iselin had said to the small crowd, “being able to step off the earth and onto the moon in one motion. Instantaneously.”

The narrative centers on Gillen Rainer, who is still searching for answers a year after his wife's untimely death. Allaire, his daughter, struggles with her own unresolved issues. Gillen and his crew are getting ready to reveal a ground-breaking accomplishment: The Alignment, a conduit that links Earth and the Moon, while Sputnik circles the planet.

This technological marvel claims to put a stop to the space race before it starts. However, the narrative takes an intriguing turn when Allaire decides to set foot on the moon by himself, forcing Gillen to confront his past choices and possible risks. The plot's twists and turns keep readers on the edge of their seats because it's hard to predict what will happen next.

Muehlbauer is a master at developing multifaceted characters that readers can identify with and sympathize with. As a scientist and father, Gillen Rainer is shown to be a conflicted character, divided between his sadness and his obligations. Most of the story, however, is driven by Allaire's quest for answers. She is a determined and inquisitive young girl.

Each of the well-developed supporting characters, including Gillen's teammates, adds to the complexity and richness of the narrative. Readers are drawn into the world of these characters because of their true nuances and emotional vulnerability, which give them an authentic feel.

The dialogue between the characters is well done and helps further the story, while letting us get to know them better.

The woman burst out into a laugh, this time genuine, while also doing her best to remain upright. Gillen outstretched his hand. “If you happen to care... I’m Gillen.”

I’m Cate,” she said, sliding her limp hand into his. Gillen wondered if that was how she had been taught to handshake or if she was really in that much discomfort. “I welcome you to join our table if you’d like.”

Cate’s hesitation seemed less connected to the presence of a possible setup, and more related to if she would make it across the room. With a nod she smiled at Gillen and he offered his arm.

Jack smirked gleefully, his hazel eyes sparkling. “Well... who might this be?”

Shut up. Cate, this is Jack and Nicolette. You both... this is Cate.”

Lovely to meet you,” Jack said as Cate sat down in the seat opposite Nicolette. “I knew it. The moment I saw you over at the bar, I said to Gillen... you gotta go over and talk to her. You gotta go over and introduce yourself. I mean, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but you look just like that one actress. From that movie everyone saw a couple years ago.”

Cate’s emerald eyes widened ever so slightly. “Oh, I’m not sure.”

I forget the name of it. Do you remember, Nikki?”

The name of the movie or the name of the actress?”

Either. Cause she looks just like her, doesn’t she? It’s uncanny. Anyway, I don’t mean to put you on the spot. I’m usually better at remembering these things. Isn’t that right, Gillen?”

Yeah, Jack’s mind is a steel trap. Would you like me to freshen up your drink?” Gillen asked Cate.

Every event logically leads to the next in the plot, which flows smoothly from one to the next. By deftly fusing the past and present, Muehlbauer advances the plot while revealing details about the pasts of the individuals. The narrative's organization guarantees that there are no unanswered questions or loose ends, keeping you moving along smoothly through the book.

The conclusion of All the Moonlight on Earth is both unexpected and wonderful. Muehlbauer skillfully weaves together the narrative threads in a way that is simultaneously heartbreaking and thought-provoking. When it comes to the resolution, a great novel should leave readers with more questions than answers. Readers will find this novel's finale to be extremely rewarding, making the entire journey worth it.

Everything in All the Moonlight on Earth has flawless editing and formatting. The writing is fluid, with chapters that are organized effectively and move at a steady pace. The scientific topics are conveyed in a clear and concise manner without overpowering the reader.

The distinctive blending of genres in All the Moonlight on Earth makes it stand out. With a plot that combines elements of literary theater, science fiction, historical fiction, and thrillers, Muehlbauer creates a unique and captivating read. The Alignment's premise is especially original, offering an interesting setting for the individual trajectories of the individuals.

Muehlbauer has a remarkable writing style. His precise yet poetic style strikes a balance between action-packed scenes and evocative paragraphs. The characters' personalities and feelings are revealed through the conversation, which is realistic and organic. The author's skill at the trade is evident in his ability to arouse a variety of emotions, including suspense, grief, and hope. The pace and tempo of the story hold readers' attention from beginning to end.

All the Moonlight on Earth's plot is masterfully written, having a distinct beginning, middle, and end. The novel's development is characterized by pivotal moments that propel the narrative along. The climax and ending offer a satisfying wrap to the characters' travels, while the building tension and the slow disclosure of important details keep readers interested. Muehlbauer's meticulous storyboarding guarantees a cogent and captivating storyline.

Muehlbauer's All the Moonlight on Earth is a fantastic book that masterfully blends the finest aspects of mystery, science fiction, and poignant drama. The novel provides an engaging and thought-provoking reading experience with its intriguing plot, well-rounded characters, and original ideas.

This book is a must-read for everyone searching for a tale that stimulates the imagination and stirs the emotions because of Muehlbauer's extraordinary writing style and meticulous attention to detail. All the Moonlight on Earth is a book that will stay with you, whether you like science fiction or just want to read a good story.


“All the Moonlight on Earth” by Jesse Muehlbauer receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company


HFC highly recommended award of excellence


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