Author: Richard Ross Release Date: September 1st, 2014. Series: Genre: Science-Fiction. Edition: mobi Pages: 3812 (kindle) Publisher: Self-Published Source: Author Buy it here: Amazon
David has lived all the twenty-two years of his life inside spaceship Columbus, which is the only world he knows. His destination is Earth Three, an Earth-like planet with harsh weather and life-threatening conditions, inhabited by humans for thousands of years. The only evidence that there are people still living on Earth Three is a hostile message received a few years before Columbus took off from Earth.
As Columbus approaches its destination, after a sixty-five years journey through the universe, David and his group are daunted by the hostile message and the dangers that they may face on Earth Three, both from the planet itself and from its inhabitants.
When they finally land on their new home, all their fears come true.
Plot | Story
The beginning of the book starts off, almost like a mystery. After many, many years of travel, a colony ship is about to land on Earth 3, a planet that the inhabitants of warned them to stay away from. Naturally they go ahead and land anyway. Once down, the main characters (and the reader) start trying to figure out just what the deal is with the planet they’re landed on. The new arrivals make their way from one action filled situation to the next, dealing with political upheavals, distrusting allies, and suppressed truths about the origins of the people of Earth 3 whilst relying on their superior weapons technology to see them through.
We don’t get too much insight into the main character, and none of the other characters are terribly memorable either. Supporting characters aregiven little to no characterization, even one who turns out to have quite an impact on the plot. Things don’t improve with the enemies either, being rather stock evil character material. One potentially interesting character was the rebel leader met later on, who initially was quite antagonistic towards the main characters. Instead of going into why that was the case, he turned out to just be a convenient hook for a plot point. In general that seemed to be the case, the characters were used to push the plot along, rather than the plot emerging from the characters actions.
Romance clearly wasn’t the aim of this book. The main character does have a love interest, but she exists only to act as a plot device or to provide some angst, not as a character in her own right.
The writing is done from the POV of one of the main characters, not the leader of the colony ship, but definitely the one around whom all the action happens. As mentioned in the character section, characterization is essentially non existent, instead the author is relying on the fast paced action to keep the plot chugging along, and keep the readers interest. The writing style seemed nice and clean, no noticeable errors in the copy received, although there were some issues with terminology used by the Earth 3 inhabitants which wouldn’t have fit their culture. The background of the colony ship is a bit confusing, it’s difficult to make out how big the ship actually is, nor how many colonists are onboard and whether or not that makes sense for the size of the ship (for a 65 year journey, you would expect more than a dozen or so people onboard). The action scenes are described well, definitely holding the attention and with a nice variety ranging from chase scenes to all-out battles.
The beginning starts off almost like a mystery, as we’re introduced to the characters on the colony ship and learn about their background and what they’ve been up to for 65 years travel since leaving Earth. There’s a few head-scratchers (they have a farm on a spaceship?), but the premise is intriguing enough to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.
The ending is essentially all action, there’s very little epilogue describing what happens afterwards. In fact, rereading the final chapter, it’s a single page on why humanity fights, but doesn’t directly address the consequences of what happened afterwards at all. Maybe this will be addressed in a sequel, but it would have been nice to known what the consequences were for the inhabitants of Earth 3 and what happened next. However if you like action sequences, then you’re sorted, the last battle takes up almost the last 20% of the book.
I liked the cover art, but it doesn’t actually relate to the story at all. It’s just a nice generic sci-fi cover.
Opening line: “John sits across from me at the table”.
Highlights: Intriguing sense of mystery at the beginning, fast paced action from the middle to end.
Lowlights: There appears to be only a dozen people on a colony ship which is clearly made out to be much larger in scale. Main characters surviving strains limits of plausibility at times. Little in the way of characterization. Some terminology used seems out of place for the culture using it.
Final Thoughts: This is a fun read, particularly if you prefer action over characterization, but don’t think too hard about the background of the world, just let the plot carry you along.