Astronomer Raymond Marsden has just rocked the world with his discovery of RM-1999—an asteroid-like celestial body behaving in a very un-asteroid-like way—which is on a crash course with Earth. Ostracized teenager H.I. Tech is too busy pining for his classmate and used-to-be friend, April Waterstone, to care if Mars itself lands in his backyard. But things suddenly get personal when April’s mother, Dr. Kay Waterstone, and H.I. Tech’s father, Dr. Jules Verne Tech, are both pulled into different investigations involving RM-1999—now reclassified as Object Alpha Bell Tower—after it comes down in the Amazon basin, killing every living thing around it. Unfortunately, it’s not just government agencies that have taken an interest. Certain unsavory elements have also turned speculative eyes on the crash site and the stakes have suddenly gotten a lot higher.
Posed as book one in a series, Jacobs’ first novel is a sci-fi escapade that has it all: a sinister object from deep space, shadowy government agencies, a bevy of conflicting motives and an honest-to-god mad scientist. The intrigue of the story is only heightened by its unlikely teen protagonists who share an only partially-revealed backstory and an undefined scope of potential talent. My only beef with the story is that the writing oftentimes lacks subtlety, leading the reader to not so much arrive at certain insights and revelations, as to have them delivered pie-to-the-face style. But other than this delivery, Jacobs’ first work is a fun read that has you guessing and questioning up to the very end. What made April so mad at H.I.? Why does H.I.’s father take him on all of his missions? Jacobs reveals just enough to keep you hooked while still leaving some mystery for the next installment of the tale.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller