The newly relaunched Convoy Seven and its crew of clones heads back to the distant star LQ Pyx and the mysterious alien structure surrounding it in this breathtaking sequel to Lostetter's critically acclaimed Noumenon (2017).
Generations and generations have passed since the Planet United Consortium sent Convoy Seven to investigate the strange strobing around the star LQ Pyx. We return to find the relaunched convoy heading back to the star to complete construction on "the Web," which is presumed to be a massive structure capable of harvesting massive amounts of energy. But while much of the convoy is dedicated to this task, a smaller but equally passionate group wants to focus on studying the Nataré, the alien species believed to be the original builders of the Web. While the idea of splitting up is totally heretical to convoy members who value unity above everything, it's possible that the consequences of abandoning the Nataré study would be much worse than they can foresee. Meanwhile, the narrative flips all the way back to the Planet United Consortium's beginning and follows the fate of a different convoy, this one meant to stay close and continue investigating methods of interstellar travel. This convoy isn't supposed to travel far from Earth, but an accident during an experiment sends them further from home than anyone had imagined possible. A novel that was anything less than stellar would be an especially disappointing follow-up to the brilliant Noumenon, but Lostetter has achieved that and much more. Part a study of the nature of love and cultural evolution, the novel also delves into spirituality and the function of religion in a scientifically advanced culture. Somehow these richly developed themes never get in the way of the enthralling deep space travel and wondrous alien discoveries fans of Noumenon will be expecting.
Sci-fi action and adventure held together by universally human themes; this is the genre at its very best.