Is there alien life somewhere out there in the great cosmos? Or is it perhaps just an empty blackness filled with balls of gas and rock and fire and no other life than our own? If you have any interest in space and space exploration, as well as the possibility that there is alien life out there and one day we might find it, or perhaps they might find us, then Trevor B. Williams’s book Eternal Shadow is the book for you.
We begin in the middle of 2014 at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, Institute, where a young researcher named Samantha Monroe is blasting 90s music in her ears as she works her graveyard shift, not expecting anything. All of a sudden, a piercing tone cuts through the sound, and a red alert window appears on her monitor with two words flashing in the center: SIGNAL DETECTED. But because Monroe is a scientist, she doesn’t just assume aliens have made first contact, but does her work: contacting her superior, but also other researchers around the world to see if they’re receiving the same signal. At first it seems a fluke, akin to the so-called “WOW” signal received in 1977 that was never repeated. But then it does repeat, continuously, and as satellites and telescopes around the world are turned in a specific direction, reality is confirmed. There is something out there, near to the planetoid Pluto, and it’s big. Really big. And it’s coming closer.
As the days pass, and more scientists are involved, while shifts are conducted and rotated, giving those who are exhausted some much needed rest – even though they really want to keep watching the events unfolding – the picture starts to take shape. There is something incredibly massive at the edge of the solar system, possibly as large as Jupiter or Saturn, and it’s coming closer, on a trajectory that appears to put it in line with Earth. What’s even more astonishing is that where the planetoid Pluto used to be, there is now little more remaining than space dust. It appears whatever this thing is consumed Pluto, which seems too hard to believe, and would be considered preposterous if the evidence didn’t back it up, and if the same thing didn’t then happen to Neptune and then Uranus.
The world stands on the brink as this herculean entity comes towards it, not knowing what will happen, or whether it shall survive.
Eternal Shadow reads like a Michael Crichton sci-fi thriller, as there is lots of tension building with the events in the book, but what I find just as fun is that the work and science is also done with the cast and those involved around the world. Nothing is rushed, but methodically done and corroborated, and as a reader and science fan, I really appreciated that. The characters are also shown to have busy, complex lives, as well as developing relationships as the events of the book take place. Eternal Shadow is a compelling read that balances the science well with the action.
|Author||Trevor B. Williams|
|Page Count||401 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|