Heaven’s Shadow, Michael Cassutt and David S. Goyer

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Heaven’s Shadow begins with the discovery of an object of unknown origin headed toward Earth. Speculation as to what it might be runs high, and leads to an international competition to be the first to land on it, to claim both the prestige and whatever other benefits there might be. Thus, two rival teams of astronauts begin a thrilling and dangerous race – but what they find when they reach their goal will turn out to be unlike anything they could have imagined . . .

What they have landed on is no asteroid but a spacecraft from a civilization that has travelled tens of thousands of years to reach earth. While the team try to work out what it is they are needed for, more sinister occurrences cause them to wonder if their involvement with this alien race will lead to anything but harm for humanity.

This is one of those stories that immediately hits you as a fleshed out screenplay, with a fast pace, broad cast of characters and a plot which simply doesn’t allow you to put the book down. Moody lead character? Check. Astronaut love interest? Check. Stroppy teenager? Check. Wheelchair bound genius? Check.

Each chapter feels like a 30 minute episode (perhaps the original idea?) but that’s not to say it doesn’t work as a book. It whips you along in a truly gripping tale of differing space centres racing to get to `Neo’ first (an asteroid that is heading towards earth) and the strange happenings that occur once they land…

It has summer blockbuster written all over it- and that’s no surprise since it was written by David ` Dark Knight’ Goyer. This is as close as I’ve come this year to a popcorn movie, and I’m glad that I picked it up. So glad in fact, that I’ve already bought the sequel.

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