On a seemingly quiet summer day, a mysterious pathogen is released upon a remote observatory in New Mexico, killing the sole technician on duty. A recovery team later finds the technician’s body with a note containing the last set of spatial coordinates the observatory’s telescope was pointed at, which the technician believes has triggered the end of days.
The next morning, disgraced physics professor Theodore Kim finds himself on a spacecraft orbiting Saturn. With no recollection of how he got there, he tries to piece together his recruitment as part of an unwilling crew along with his longtime girlfriend, a retired physician, a Russian aviator, a zoologist, and a stay-at-home mother. Without explanation, the experimental craft known as the Moirae departs the galaxy for an unknown destination. Are they the last ark of humanity, sent to colonize some distant planet? Or have they been sent on a fool’s errand to search out God in the depths of space, as some of the crew believe? If so, why did they send Kim, a boozing agnostic, to do the talking?
It is hard to believe this is a first novel. Conor weaves a world that is easily believable and puts the reader right in the middle of it. With well-chosen words, you feel the surprise, concern and confusion of each of the characters as they discover their roles and how they came to be on the Moirae.
None of the characters are merely names. Each is fleshed out with backgrounds, motivations and beliefs that present well-rounded and realistic individuals.
The protagonist, Teddy Kim, is easy to root for even as you want to reach out and give him a good smack. His girlfriend, Ellenore Gin keeps him and the reader grounded as they and the crew of the Moirae move past Saturn.
On Earth, Douglas Silva provides an excellent resource as we discover why the six reluctant astronauts are where they are.
The book was very enjoyable. Conor's writing has a good flow and is uncomplicated. His story unfolds in a manner that draws the reader along and makes the read much faster than you realize. The characters are people you'd meet in real-life. They come across genuine and make the story believable. And every step along the way, there is a new twist or turn that wasn't expected, but also, doesn't seem out of place.
Conor has a great imagination and insight and with a comfortable style, this is a great start for a new author.
This book was a very easy read. I enjoyed it a lot. I was blown away at how good of a book Conor wrote for his first book. I look forward to reading many more. (Hopefully with Killer Monkeys eventually).
It had a very natural flow to it, I just kept reading without noticing the time passing. All the descriptions of the different situations were very vivid, I could put myself in any of them. I got grossed out and nervous right with Silva the whole way. (Even though I could not help but picture Cubs starter Carlos Silva as this character). All the characters felt real, I felt like I could picture meeting them and knowing them. None felt empty or unbelievable. I loved the main character Kim, he was just a perfect character. I loved his interactions with pretty much anyone but especially between Grant and him. But as my wife said of course I would love a sarcastic jackass :P
Conor has a very easy writing style and a great sense of imagination/humor, I await the next book.