This stellar debut novel—revolving around a top-secret project to assemble the ancient body parts of a giant humanoid relic buried throughout the world by aliens—masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction.
The story begins in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where a young girl named Rose Franklin falls into a huge hole and literally lands in the palm of a giant metal hand. The government gets involved, but after failing to glean any military or technological secrets from the alien artifact, the hand eventually goes into storage. Years later, after the project is demilitarized, the University of Chicago takes over the research. The head of the project is no other than the South Dakota girl who fell into the hand—now grown and an acclaimed physicist. When other body parts are discovered throughout the country—and the world—Franklin’s formidable task is to somehow secretly unearth all parts, covertly remove them from their locations and transport them to an underground facility in Denver. But when the rest of the world discovers the plan, paranoia, fear and greed run rampant, pushing humankind to the brink of world war. Because the novel is narrated through a series of interviews, personal journals and mission logs, the grand-scale storyline immediately becomes intimate as readers experience the historic events through the eyes of characters like Franklin; Kara Resnik, a U.S. Army pilot tasked with finding a way to “drive” the robot, which may or may not be a colossal weapon of mass destruction; and Vincent Couture, a Quebecois linguist whose mission is to make sense of the alien symbols on panels found with some of the body parts.
Like the giant alien artifact in the story, this novel is so much more than the sum of its parts—a page-turner of the highest order!