We’ve found another Earthlike planet, but what secrets doe sit hold?
The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new, Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of water and a breathable, oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to learn more, an exploration team is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth.
All the explorers understand that they are essentially on a one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years each way, so even if they are able to get back to Earth, nearly two hundred years will have elapsed. They will have aged only a dozen years thanks to cryonic suspension, but their friends and family will be gone, and the very society they once knew will have changed beyond recognition. The explorers are going into exile, and they know it. They are on this mission not because they were the best available but because they were expendable.
Upon landing, the team discovers something unexpected: New Earth is inhabited by a small group of intelligent creatures who look very much like human beings. Who are these people? Are they native to this world or invaders from elsewhere? While they may seem inordinately friendly to the human explorers, what are their real motivations? What do they want?
Moreover, the scientists begin to realize that this planet cannot possibly be natural. They face a startling and nearly unthinkable question: Could New Earth be an artifact?
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Not my kind of sci-fi. Engaging story, not precise
Story trajectory was good, entertaining enough. But overall this book just did not agree with me.
There were a few points that I'm afraid I have to criticise.
- The dialogue was repetitious. Without apparent purpose, the same statments or exchanges were made by the same characters sometimes more than twice - I hadn't forgotten the previous time it was said on any occasion (and my memory can be pretty crap). A very odd decision by the author.
- Some dialogue was unbelievable, and some characters very shallow and/or stereotypical (I've never known an irishman to really go around talking about leprechauns and potatoes without a heavy dose of irony).
- Some mistakes with the science... I come to sci-fi to have my imagination supplied by 'what-if's - I can't do this if mistakes are made.
- Some things left unexplained both in terms of questions unanswered and not introducing us to the world he has created - characters far too nonchalant about discoveries for reasons undisclosed.
- And finally on that score, I didn't find the author's imagination sufficiently adventurous. To be honest I think these days with so many ideas having been written, you need a very good one, an unusual idea or a particularly complete and well-expressed idea for it to be worth adding your book to the masses of Sci-Fi. For me, this didn't have that great idea. It was an entertaining book, but I would class it as Science Fantasy rather than Science Fiction.
I think Ben and I disagree about what Sci Fi should be like.
You don't want to hear him do an irish accent, apart from that he's good.
No, it already reads like a bad sci-fi film - no idea to strenuous or character too deep.
Sorry Ben, I hope others enjoy it more than I.