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Gaea: Beyond the Son, by P. D. Gilson Book Review | SFReader.com
Gaea: Beyond the Son, by P. D. Gilson Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Helios Published: 2007 Review Posted: 3/4/2008 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
Gaea: Beyond the Son, by P. D. Gilson
Book Review by Stuart Clark
Have you read this book?
It is a desperate time in Earth's future. Global warming is taking its
toll. The polar ice caps are melting, raising sea levels and contaminating
fresh water supplies. Man has two choices. Rely on D-salt, itself a much
sought after commodity, to remove impurities from tainted water, or look to
the heavens for a new home.
Doyle Gage is the poster boy for the promised Gaea future. A long serving
United Earth Coalition (UEC) soldier, Doyle has been hand picked to be
commander of the Gaea-02 spaceship. Its mission, to forge a new colony on a
distant planet called M38 But Doyle unexpectedly finds himself alone to
raise his young son and resigns his post, electing only to accompany the
ship on its six month, slingshot test flight as a civilian consultant.
On returning to Earth, the crew of Gaea-02 are horrified to discover that
the Asian Pacific Alliance (APA) has started all out war with the UEC. It
soon becomes clear, the APA are after one thing, the Gaea ship and all its
technology, so they can mount their own bid for M38.
Stranded in space, and considered fugitive by the APA, the crew of the
Gaea-02 will be forced to make difficult decisions and Doyle must decide if
he should return to Earth and learn the fate of his son or head for the
stars and fulfill the Gaea dream.
Gaea: Beyond the Son, is the brilliant first offering from P.D.
Gilson. Crammed full of action and with a plot played out by believable,
likeable characters, it's hard to put this book down.
If you're looking for hard, techhy sci-fi, then this isn't for
you. But if you like your SF a little on the pulpy/adventure side with a
splash of military thrown in for good measure, I heartily recommend it.
The initial premise is good, the future world Gilson writes
about not too much of a leap of faith given current warnings about global
warming and climate change. The characters are engaging and their
individual stories are slowly revealed to the reader through a series of
flashbacks and hibernation dreams. Yes, it's been done before but it's
executed well, bringing to the surface conflicts and motivations that draw
you into the story as the book progresses.
The crew of the Gaea-02 get thrown from one situation to the
next, and the action scenes are exciting and written well, yet none of the
obstacles or hardships encountered seemed contrived to pad the story out,
they just added to the snowballing pace of the plot.
If I had one minor criticism of Gaea: Beyond the Son, it would
be the use of unexplained acronyms. Lovers of SF will have no problem, with
a little bit of thought, figuring out what they all stand for, but readers
new to the genre might not be familiar with them all. It's a minor issue.
Completing the package is the gorgeous cover art of Tomas
Kuklik. A beautiful collage of scenes from the book, you'll find yourself
constantly flipping back to view it and pictorially relive the scene you
just read. They say never to judge a book by its cover but I'm afraid to
say I did -- and I wasn't disappointed in the least
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