Part of me keeps telling myself, to stop buying books just because of there cover. Most of the time the author doesn’t have much say in regards to the cover. So it isn’t always a true reflection of the story nor represent an image that actually takes place in the story. but it can contain powerful images that capture your imagination. I am probably fortunate that for most of the time choosing books by the cover has worked for me.
For the fact that the front cover had an image of a storm in a cars rear view mirror yet the back cover blurb talked of a storm in space, is what really peaked my interest. The book was reasonably priced so i thought why not.
The book starts much like many others in regards to a signal received from space such as contact or species. However the difference here is the signal is not decoded but yet we still reply. I took issue with this. Why/how would we respond to a message when we didn’t know what the message was about. In reality i am sure we would wait until the message was decoded before replying. A signal received from space in essence is a sign of intelligence, it show a lack of intelligence to reply without understanding the message.
The story then moves forward in time. the reason of course is the source of the signal is like 15 light years away, so it takes 15 years for our signal to get there and then 15 years for the response to come back. So just when we thought we would hear a response back the original signal switches off… This is when the cloud is detected. While not wanting to give too much away. It is interesting to note that we always seem to picture a signal from space with allot of fear. Is it just a plot device or do we truly believe that if we hear anything from another civilization that they would be aggressive and want to attack. To be honest this is highly doubtful as the length of time required for interstellar travel is enormous. Its dubious at best that someone would go through the centuries long journey just to attack. what would be the tactical point in that?
It is interesting to note that even in real life we only talk of receiving a signal and not sending. Granted we have sent one signal called the Arecibo message but that was aimed at a target more that 25000 light years away and was more a test of equipment than an actual attempt to communicate. My point is if we are only listening, who’s to say that other civilizations are only listening. If no one is talking how can we hear them. (we can ignore the fact that all our TV transmission are being through space right now)
This story was still a great thrill ride, and has quite a heart pounding race to the last second kind of finish to it. thoroughly enjoyed it, and will keep an eye out for this authors works in the future