Every 75 to 76 years, a secret organization receives highly advanced information from Halley’s Comet and attempts to improve and protect humankind through covert manipulation.
The storyline, which begins in 3 million B.C. and ends in A.D. 2 million, loosely follows agents of the “guiding star of humanity,” Ra-Tarhuna, giving readers a glimpse into various stages of humankind’s evolution. But while ripe with speculation into an array of subjects—the life and death of Jesus, the discovery of the Higgs boson, the manipulation of dreams, etc.—most of the topics aren’t deeply considered. The discovery of travel faster than the speed of light, for example, is one sentence long. Similarly, the scarcity of substantial characters or character development makes for a detached reading experience. The novel’s conclusion is inexplicably followed by an “interlude” that features a kind of workbook in which the reader can respond—“Please use the space below to write your answer”—to a series of questions related to themes in the novel. After that, the book ends with a lengthy, quite fascinating section that explores some scientific concepts examined in the story. But why weren’t these scientific considerations slightly modified and included in the actual storyline? Comparable novels—namely Stephen Baxter’s Destiny’s Children series and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation sequence—have managed to explore the evolution of humankind and combine it with advanced scientific speculation to profoundly moving effects.
Despite an intriguing premise, the bold speculation and big ideas have little impact.