Title: Home: Interstellar
Author: Ray Strong
Genre: Science Fiction / Mystery
Home: Interstellar throws us into the fathomless territory known as outer space, in the 22nd century, and into the life of Meriel Hope, a woman who has suffered the worst kind of tragedy imaginable. Ten years after the massacre aboard the Princess, and after the loss of her family, she survives working aboard the Tiger, trying to put the pieces back together. Meriel is left to sift through both fantasy and reality, as she grapples with the possibility that there might be other survivors. As deeper truths come to light, she comes to realize the danger she’s in. She must put a stop to it before it’s too late.
Ray Strong made this science fiction book come alive. Nothing about it felt fake or improbable. It was as though we stepped into a time machine and ended up in this real environment, surrounded by people who didn’t feel like characters, but were flesh and blood. Although they were not overly described, we still had this concrete perception of what they were about, which was somehow more important. It was pleasant to imagine them to look however the reader wanted them to. Their personalities were diverse and memorable, ranging from fearless to charming, cowardly to self-centered. The voice of the book seemed to have a distinct familiarity with military service, which made the quality of the story that much more believable.
The makeshift family unit the crew has become on the Tiger serves as part comic-relief throughout the story, bringing a bit of light into an otherwise bleak atmosphere. One of the not-so-friendly characters is a physician, Dr. Ferrell, who makes it his mission to climb into Meriel’s mind whether she wants the “help” or not. This Doctor has his own reasons, and at times the reader feels sympathetic toward him.
When the reader discovers more about President Biadez, who appears to be on the same side as Meriel and the rest of the “possible” survivors in the beginning, everything goes from mystery to mayhem, and fights and battles turn even bloodier. However, Meriel manages to find a love interest within the crew that she can relate to, which offers a glimmer of something above the doom and gloom.
The formatting could use more polish. It was one of the few things that detracted from the reading experience. Each page appeared to be packed with too much text, which made it less appealing to the eye and slowed the pacing, when it could easily have been a progressive flow of story. Regardless, this book can easily be described as a gripping read from start to finish.
Ray Strong has the gift of turning fiction into reality. The futuristic technology he incorporates into Home: Interstellar is like looking through a crystal ball into the 22nd century. Anyone who enjoys science fiction will find themselves transported onto the Princess and the Tiger, far away from the world they know. His love for this world is moving, and not just the “world” of outer space, but the one we currently live on. His words of caution on the dangers that lurk among us are likely to give the reader something to ponder on.
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