Title: Eternal Shadow
Author: Trevor B. Williams
Genre: Science Fiction
In Eternal Shadow by Trevor B. Williams, SETI researchers Jennifer Epstein and Samantha Monroe receive a signal from an alien spacecraft and soon discover that the craft, dubbed the Leviathan, is consuming Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus…and Earth is next on its course. Now humanity must unite against political unrest and end-of-days fanatics to find a way to save Earth from total annihilation, and they have only ten years to do it.
This novel starts off with immediate action, pulling the reader in. As the SETI scientists figure out what the extraterrestrial signal they’ve received means, the story becomes an instant page-turner. Despite this novel’s long length, it doesn’t read like a long novel because there is always something interesting happening. The author doesn’t disappoint with thrills and new questions arising as the scientists discover more about the Leviathan. The use of artificial intelligence to communicate with the alien spacecraft, for example, is done convincingly and authentically.
For lovers of science fiction, this novel would satisfy their appetite. The author often dives into the hard science behind how different technologies work, or would theoretically work. For the typical reader, the amount of information on how the science operates may be a bit much to wrap one’s head around at times, but these explanations don’t take away from the story. For someone with more knowledge about the science behind space technology, they would appreciate the research the author had to do to write a realistic and convincing story that explores what would happen if an extraterrestrial threat approached Earth. An example of how fascinating such technology could be is the rover, Hermes Two, sent to the Leviathan to explore. The AI technology on the Leviathan reconfigures the rover in order to communicate with Earth.
Williams cleverly writes a plot-driven (the Leviathan spacecraft coming to destroy Earth) and a character-driven (the protagonists, Jennifer and Sam, and the changes in their relationship over the years) narrative. The grand-scale items are present in how humanity as a whole reacts to the threat. The personal items are woven in, for example, Jennifer and Sam’s thought processes, emotions, reactions, and interactions, which are written with as much careful thoughtfulness as the details of the science. The variety of the narrative displays the author’s talent to write well across several genres, despite this book being primarily science fiction. The reader can’t help but relate to Jennifer and Sam, as they are well-rounded characters.
In Eternal Shadow, Trevor B. Williams gives us a harrowing glimpse of what could happen if Earth knew an alien spacecraft was about to destroy our only home, yet he weaves a tale of hope that humanity will find a way to survive. Among a plethora of science fiction novels, Williams’s story tells a plausible tale that feels down to earth, not in a far-off galaxy. This book will enthuse and entertain lovers of science fiction, but also offers plenty of romance, thrills, mystery, and literary fiction elements, which have the potential to draw in a larger audience.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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