by Jeremy Robinson (2017)

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries fifty scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth’s nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity’s best hope.

After ten years in a failed cryogenic bed–body asleep, mind awake–William Chanokh’s torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets him…by stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

This would be the least satisfying of all the Jeremy Robinson novels. He does explain what he was going through while writing the novel and his worries infiltrate the book by keeping the reader wondering what is reality and what is virtual reality (or is it all a dream). The result is that the tone shifts throughout the book.

The setup is interesting, it’s science fiction on an exploration vessel. Then stuff happens, it’s horror with lots of blood and an unknown antagonist. Then we get into alternative realities and ships with AI’s running the show (but are they).

Then in the final quarter It’s a big sci-fi opera with civilizations and exploration. Then it’s back to somewhere familiar with references to other Robinson books (although it’s not set a previous Robinson timeline).

The writing style is still there, but not as big and gang-busters as other works. In the end it just leaves you wondering… what was real (or not) and did anything really happen ?