The Earth is dying. Decades of war and abuse have left the planet almost uninhabitable, and the Founders have hired Solomon Reach and his company to build the ships that will take a select group of humans to a new world, leaving the rest behind to die with the Earth. In exchange, the Founders have promised that the last ship to leave will carry a thousand of Solomon’s crew to the new world. But the Founders have other plans, and no intention to keep that part of the bargain. When Solomon finds out about their plan to leave his crew behind, he is determined to stop it. With an uneasy alliance with the daughter of a high-ranked founder, he sets out to save his people.
This is part of a far-reaching, multi-author, open-source science fiction world. It’s an interesting concept with a set of novels, novellas, and short stories comprising the whole.
This one, the set-up story, was good up to a point. The science reads well, and seems plausible, including the interstellar ships, space elevators, and space station. Characters are engaging, if not fully fleshed out, but this is an introductory story, after all. The action moves along well, and the plot is full of intrigue and deception.
The problem? It ends on a complete cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved, and you have to get the next book to find out what happens to everyone. I get that this is just the set-up for the rest of the series, but I can’t help but feel a bit cheated after investing in the characters, plot, and details of a decent story, only to find out that there really is no ending, just a big question mark. If this and the next book in the series were bundled together, or better, combined into one whole story, it would be much better. It’s a decent story and pretty good sci-fi, but if you are going to invest your time and attention to it, you’d be wise to pick up both this and the next book at the same time.
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