SECRET SALVATION by Chad Josey

SECRET SALVATION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut novel tells the story of a doctor recruited to survive a world-ending event.

The year is 2015. Dr. Joseph Bishop thinks he’s simply going out to a remote facility in Colorado to give a presentation and raise money for his innovative cancer research. But upon his arrival, he learns that he has been summoned to the Eden Foundation for a different reason. A planetoid twice the size of the moon is on a collision course for Earth. The government has known about it since 1957, and the impact, which will occur in 2020, will destroy Earth and all life that remains on it. The Foundation is recruiting the best and brightest to restart human civilization on Mars, at a secret facility that has already been built on the red planet’s surface. “We call it Salvation,” a Foundation member explains to Joseph. “This is where we are moving a selected sector of the population. Salvation is our only chance for the human race to survive.” Flashbacks reveal that the Foundation has gone to great lengths to silence whistleblowers who try to tell the public about the coming calamity, from astronomers to U.S. presidents. Joseph is conflicted and unsure how to proceed, but windows into his past—and those of his father and grandfather—reveal that the hand of destiny may be guiding his journey more closely than he knows. Josey’s prose is fluid, and the sci-fi novel’s scenes move at a nice pace, though sometimes sections or entire chapters seem superfluous to the story as a whole. The plot in the present—Joseph learning about the coming apocalypse—is quite compelling, but a majority of the book is taken up by momentum-killing flashbacks to his life at different ages. Heavy-handed religious allusions (Joseph’s wife’s name is Mary; there’s a character called Gabriel D’Angelo) further take the reader out of the narrative. Even so, the tale ends at an intriguing place, with the implication of sequels to follow.

A captivating, high-stakes sci-fi adventure that suffers from too much background material.

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
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