A political thriller years in the making.
4 out of 5 stars
I have to be honest, I have never read a John Sandford novel before. But mystery isn’t my cup of tea (I’ll read them, just not something I specifically look for in a bookstore). Needless to say, a big name author plus science fiction… I’m intrigued.
The story takes place in the future in the year 2066. CalTech has accidentally discovered something with one of their telescopes. A race to find out what is up near Saturn is on. The US and China are locked in a new “space race” to figure out what the new object decelerating is (objects in space don’t decelerate… but spaceships do).
This was a hard hitter in the “hard science” category of Science Fiction. The two authors did some research before putting this novel out. Being a hard science-science fiction novel — it’s a little on the long side. I like my books to clock in around 300 pages. This one comes in just under 500. I still read it, but I found myself wandering at times. Now with that being said, I still enjoyed it.
The political aspects felt very real to me. Who knows where we will be in 40 years, but it felt real and believable.
This book (from other reviews I’ve read) seems like a big step out of Sandford’s typical comfort zone, and I think he hit it out of the park.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
For fans of THE MARTIAN, an extraordinary new thriller of the future from #1 New York Times–bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Sandford and internationally known photo-artist and science fiction aficionado Ctein.
Over the course of thirty-seven books, John Sandford has proven time and again his unmatchable talents for electrifying plots, rich characters, sly wit, and razor-sharp dialogue. Now, in collaboration with Ctein, he proves it all once more, in a stunning new thriller, a story as audacious as it is deeply satisfying.
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.
A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.
The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.
John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master’s degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He’s also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archaeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org. In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.