A sci-fi thriller involving a planet-killing comet, interstellar joy rides, and two heroic citizens fighting to save the planet.
Claire McBeth, a young Manhattan journalist covering science and technology for the New York Sentinel newspaper, excitedly accepts an assignment to report on the revolutionary, swiftly developing space-tourism industry. First, she interviews Texas multibillionaire Kayode Seok, the Korean–African-American creator of KS Space Tourism, who’s dealt with racial prejudice throughout his life. She also gets a scoop on a suborbital excursion project from former Air Force Capt. Herc Ramond, a senior pilot for Seok’s company. Although Claire is instantly attracted to the handsome airman, both are distracted by developments many miles above them involving the International Space Station. Soon afterward, Ramond must rush off to tend to his incapacitated friend Richard Halpren, a jet engine mechanic in the space-tourism industry; he’s in the hospital after surviving a suspicious gas explosion in his home. Meanwhile, FBI agent Quinten Gnash is using lethal means to contain reports of apparent comet sightings. McBeth and Ramond soon stumble on a conspiracy to cover up the truth behind an object hurtling toward Earth. Ohio-based novelist and playwright Roland’s rousing debut novel combines futuristic space technology with a bevy of engaging characters. Some of the subplots are fleeting, but they all directly tie into the main narrative to form a cohesive tapestry of suspense, intrigue, and cosmic thrills. Although the action is a bit frenetic in places, the story is continuously and firmly anchored by strong characterization and an intriguing, visionary premise. McBeth and Ramond are particularly inspired and compelling protagonists who provide just the right amount of spirited toughness to carry things through to the rousing (and open-ended) conclusion.
An impressive, enterprising effort by an author with verve and imagination to spare.