So, I have never read any books by this author. From what I understand, he normally writes YA. This book is most definitely not YA! What I can tell you is that this book is interesting. It made me think when I finished reading it. I mean really think about the concept of community over individual good. Would life be better somehow if we did not have the freedom to speak our mind and be heard, or would it be disastrous?
This is a sci-fi thriller that lives up to it’s name. I found it fast-paced and an easy read, thought provoking but easy. Dr. Elena Pyetrov is an aerospace engineer. On a mission to the moon base to drop off pioneers and then heading off to be the second manned mission to Jupiter. Her father was the first to try a manned mission and disappeared 18 years ago. During her cryo-sleep something goes wrong. She, the crew and passengers are knocked off course and end up “crash landing” and are then transported into a closed cave system.
Unsure of what is happening and how it happened, Elena and her on again off again boyfriend and Pilot Marc suspect alien interference. When she and Marc are transported to a cave that looks just like Elena’s childhood home, down to all the details, she becomes suspicious. This is where it gets weird. Elena’s father has been living in this closed cave system for the eighteen years that he’s been missing. He married and had a child with a fellow crew member and is now dying. Leaving Elena with a half-sister who appears troubled and more questions that she is unable to get answers to from her sister.
As their fellow passengers begin appearing in the cave system, Marc tries to take charge. Elena is thrust into the role of leader as well, as she begins to try to play interference with their Knoonk captors. As the book gets near the middle, there is a bit of a slowing of the story. They find out that the Knoonk can control them through the use of neuro-chemicals that mimic the natural ones our bodies produce. As you can imagine, there is a lot of chaos and confusion. Then, as Marc begins to get things under control, they find that they aren’t the only humans in this system.
In the middle, there is a lot of back and forth between the humans and the Knoonk. As the humans show aggression and conduct raids on other caves of people, chaos really ensues. This is where I really began to see the contrast between the technologically advanced Knoonk and the humans, showing aggression and independence.
The subtle but eerie ickiness that began to come out for me, concerning the Knoonk and their community based civilization happened here. No Knoonk can have any thought or opinion for themselves. They must submit to the good of the community, even when it isn’t the wisest choice. And contrasting their community with the independent humans that can and will fight for their right to say and do what they want. What struck me the most was the messiness that having independence can be. Is independent thought and free-will the answer or is the more community minded alien culture?
As the story progresses, I saw this contrast more and more. There was a satisfying ending to this story that left room for this book to become a series. While this book may not be for everyone, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I like when a fiction book can make me think and this one sure did.
About the Author:
Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series–Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contactabout encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth. Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest