I’m not gonna lie, when I see a single name (Ctein, Madonna, Cher…) listed on anything – movie, book, album – my expectation is going to be set high from the start! Thankfully, this book did not disappoint.
John Sanford has written well over 30 books, and Ctein has degrees from Cal Tech in English and Physics. Ctein is also a world-renowned photographer for his unparalleled photo printing abilities. Together, they put together an adventure story with enough detail to make it believable but also the entertaining dramatic conflict to keep the reader hooked until the end.
To summarize the plot, an intern at Cal Tech monitoring a section of outer space notices some irregular movement near Saturn which he thinks could represent a spacecraft. This leads to a race between the US and China to Saturn – and whoever arrives first will potentially have the privilege of being the first humans to encounter another intelligent life form. As far as stakes go, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.
How much evidence does it take to start planning a trip to another planet? What kind of technology does it take to get to Saturn? What kind of technology might another intelligent species possess?
The book made me excited about space travel again – and reading science fiction. I am usually not a sci-fi reader, but this story which takes place in 2066, seems more likely a fun adventure thriller, elevating it beyond science fiction.
My only complaint is that it took too long to get to the meat of the action. If you can get through the first 100 pages, the rest is an enjoyable trip.