I was given a free Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book by the author with the option to write an honest review.
Eternal Shadow is Book one of the Fall of Gods series and is a Science Fiction novel.
What would you do if the world was going to end in ten years?
For Jennifer Epstein, a by-the-books senior researcher at SETI, there is only one answer: prevent the apocalypse from happening. Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus were destroyed by an alien threat. The deck was stacked against humanity before the cards came out of the box.
But Jennifer isn’t alone. She has Samantha Monroe, her excitable but brilliant colleague. From South Africa, CEO Muzikayise Khulu of Khulu Global supplies his vast resources to the ultimate race for survival.
The three find themselves in an unlikely alliance while political brinkmanship, doomsday cults, and untested technologies form ever-growing obstacles.
Will humanity unite to face the greatest challenge of their time, or will it destroy itself before the alien ship arrives?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It’s been a while since I read science fiction though I have many on my TBR list. So this was a refreshing change to my usual reads.
The book is written in the third person and has multiple main characters/points of view.
The story starts with SETI scientists discovering a signal that appeared to be originating from the edges of our solar system. This builds to learning that an alien ship is destroying our outer planets (for ease I’m calling Pluto a planet).
Unlike most books, Eternal Shadow is set over a 10 year period and broken into four sections. This definitely works for such an intense science fiction novel and the time period allows us to see how humanity is coping with the knowledge of extraterrestrial life as well as how the scientific communities around the world are working the situation.
The biggest thing that struck me about this novel was the level of detail regarding the technical and scientific information. Thankfully, some of my Open University courses covered Planetary sciences so I didn’t feel totally overwhelmed.
I do feel if I hadn’t covered some of these topics in my studies, I would have struggled with some of the heavy technical and scientific details. I think this book is definitely aimed towards more hard-core science fiction readers.
While some of the details were quite dry, others did help to paint a full picture of things like the Leviathan (alien ship), the rover, the satellites etc.
I did like the mini images that made up the start of a new section and repeated throughout the section’s chapters.
One part that didn’t fit well for me was how the Leviathan destroyed Pluto, then Neptune, then Uranus all within a very short time frame as if they were lined up, all close together.
Now it seemed logical that the scientists would assume Saturn would be next target, then Jupiter, but that was never even voiced as a possibility, despite the fact that the destruction of Saturn and Jupiter would have a devastating effect on Earth.
However, instead of Saturn, Leviathan turned to head for Earth. The data from how the alien threat had destroyed three planets suggested it would take only a few days to reach Earth.
Then suddenly, for no reason given, it changed speed so that it would take 10 years to reach Earth, giving humanity a longer window in order to prepare and come up with possible solutions to save Earth from suffering the same fate as the other planets.
It felt a little like a Deus ex Machina that the alien threat would suddenly slow down on its travels since it was now heading to Earth.
I did like how there was an explanation, later in the book as to why those specific planets were destroyed and why the Leviathan was heading to Earth rather than targeting Saturn and Jupiter.
In regards to the characters, I personally, didn’t feel very connected to any of them, in fact, I couldn’t really remember what most of them look liked as there wasn’t enough detail dropped throughout the story to remind me.
Any personal life connections or backstories for the characters didn’t feel strong enough for me to really connect with them and other than maybe two or three, I also didn’t get distinctive voices from them either.
However, this could be because it’s definitely a plot-driven book rather than a character-driven book and the story unfolded well that you were drawn into the mystery of what was going to happen to Earth and humanity.
I did like how the author touched on excellent points about how different people viewed the issue of First Contact, from fear, elation or sudden upsurge in religions. The book gave glancing views at how the scientists had to navigate the political arena and had to often deal with nations thinking short-sightedly.
The pace did slow down in the middle but the story was interesting enough that I was excited to see how it would all end.
Author: Trevor B. Williams (Website)
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 532 pages
Availability: Pre-Order available Amazon.com Coming out 9th November 2019