A sometimes-stirring space trek tale, with intriguing science and dark matter along the way.




An experienced astronaut and an untested young scientist lead a mission to the solar system’s outer reaches—where a mysterious force interferes with deep-space probes—in this novel.

In the near future, Ed Walker is an abrasive but courageous veteran NASA astronaut who manages—barely—to survive and save his crew from the harrowing end of the glitch-ridden International Space Station. Meanwhile, on the ground, young academic David Holmes is far ahead of his peers in determining that old, outward-bound space probes that reach the rim of the solar system are simply being plucked out of existence by some inexplicable force. Despite the seemingly incompatible personalities and the age gaps of the two men, an Elon Musk-like, internet/free energy billionaire with political connections forces them together to spearhead the government/private sector expedition of the Helios, a revolutionary, antimatter-powered spaceship headed out beyond the planets. The pioneering joint operation is to pave the way for human colonization, away from an Earth wracked by Sino-American wars and Islamic terror attacks toward the promise of other star systems—and perhaps to confront the ominous force that is causing the disappearance of unmanned NASA hardware. Peterson (Paradox 2, 2018, etc.) manages to satisfy (albeit in unequal measures at times) sci-fi fans of both the Arthur C. Clarke cosmic-wow variety and the more techno-minded aerospace yarn-spinners of yesteryear such as Frank G. Slaughter and Martin Caidin with their launchpad melodramas. This series opener’s middle passages sag under earthbound training exercises, plasma physics jargon, and crusty Ed’s bottomless supply of astronaut gossip about Alan Shepard and Sally Ride and his nostalgia for the lost Gemini era, when men were men and had the right stuff. But when the plot finally reaches the unknown void beyond Pluto, the payoff goes into macro-cosmic territory, the stuff of Carl Sagan’s finale to Contact—but far more bitter than that scientist/speculator’s ultimate optimism. Two other crew members, both women, register as lesser blips on the narrative’s radar, and Ed’s estranged, nagging wife fearfully demonstrates why a retirement-age pilot ace would face enigmatic and hostile aliens billions of miles away rather than go on a marital date night. A nonfiction essay-cum-bibliography by Peterson concludes the book.

A sometimes-stirring space trek tale, with intriguing science and dark matter along the way.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-977974-01-3

Page Count: 446

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2018

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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