Monday, August 24, 2009
Review - Offworld By Robin Parrish
The first manned mission to Mars is the greatest accomplishment humanity has achieved. A crew of four incredible astronauts make the journey, advancing the knowledge of the human race beyond expectations. Something happens to Commander Burke - the man in charge - while he is on Mars, but his memory of the experience is patchy at best. He has begun hallucinating at various moments, and he is beginning to question himself.
The hallucinations strike again as the ship is returning to Earth, causing them to crash land back at Kennedy Space Center. The crew barely escapes with their lives, crawling from the wreckage to find Earth has changed significantly while they were gone. There is no homecoming party, no grand celebration; in fact, home is ominously silent. To be more precise, it appears that every living thing on the planet has disappeared at exactly the same instant. To make matters worse, an ominous bright light is present in Houston, Texas; it's bright enough be seen from a satellite circling the globe.
To say that all is not as it seems is an understatement of great proportions. The world appears to be completely unstable around them, the only other human being they run into is completely odd, and the hallucinations and memories of Mars continue to plague Commander Burke, leaving too many unanswered questions. The journey to find these answers will test them all, and what is revealed will be something they never expect.
This entertaining novel by Robin Parrish showcases a unique voice, an intriguing storyline, and fast-paced action from beginning to end. There wasn't a single dull moment, and just when I thought I knew what was going on, the book took turns in surprising directions. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Mr. Parrish's other books, but I am quite happy to have become acquainted with his writing. I can happily say that I will be looking for other books by Robin Parrish, and if I'm very lucky (keeping my fingers crossed), I may be able to wrangle an interview with him. Keep your eyes open for it and wish me good luck. If you haven't read this book however, you need to go pick up a copy. It's an entertaining read that you won't want to put down.