I should point out straightaway that this is a ‘to be continued’ book. Now, I’m really not too fond of books that don’t ‘end’. I don’t mind the hint of sequel, but I just don’t want to have to read another book to get to the conclusion. A personal bug, but if you like books in a series to stand alone, perhaps you'll want to know that this one doesn't!
That aside, the book was a rather compelling read: a sci-fi adventure but a story with social commentary. One that has you feeling a little uncomfortable (because you know it's true) at the message being conveyed.
Three astronauts are on an important mission. It’s the last for one of them and the first for another. They are heading for a planet that may have water, and if there’s water, there may be other discoveries to be made. The journey is bumpy. Very, very, very bumpy. Loss of contact with control is beyond distressing, but they manage to land, albeit unconventionally. They've landed somewhere. Not back at base—it’s obvious from their surroundings—but terra firma at least. American terra firma. Or is it? All they have to do is find some people, some civilization, some means of communication to let base know the mission was incomplete but that they are safe. That’s all. Can’t be too hard, can it, despite the unfamiliar terrain?
Despite the fact I couldn't engage with the characters—they were a little bland—it wasn't hard to be drawn into the story. The author has obviously thought very hard about something he needed to say and used his creativity and imagination to do so. It worked.
And of course, it perpetuates that ever-present question…do we really know what's out there?