Williamson’s fascinating tale of benevolent aliens who’ve come to the human race with advanced technology and warnings from outer galaxies.
When inhabitants of the planet Amular witness a mysterious darkening of stars in outer space, Capt. Adamarus Maximus leaves his planet to investigate. But the mission goes awry, and Adamarus is unlikely to survive. Unbeknownst to the captain, aliens, called Loud, bring him aboard their ship—the source of the visual anomaly. The Loud have been observing Amular and its inhabitants for years. The aliens treat Adamarus and return him to Amular; when he recovers, he’s 20 years younger. At the aliens’ request, he re-enters their ship to speak with their ambassador. He finds a massive, unbearably loud, hill-like creature who communicates through translators and wants to share the Loud’s advanced technology. The aliens offer all the gift of youth and eternal life. After everyone undergoes the transformation, the humans’ benefactors develop methods to house and feed a growing, unlimited population and then leave for their home planet some 200 light years away. But after only a few years, the Loud return bearing troubling news: An enemy force wiped out their entire planet and now plans to destroy Amular. The distraught Loud insist that the human race has no chance. But those on Amular put the Loud’s warning to good use and prepare for an epic battle. Williamson’s novel tackles complex issues surrounding the problems of immortality and perpetual youth, along with facing insurmountable challenges, without stinting on an emotionally compelling, action-packed plot. And the multilayered, eclectic characters each have their own carefully woven emotional patchwork.
The first installment of an intense, philosophical sci-fi series.