Top positive review
5.0 out of 5 starsExceptional story of a crew returning to an Earth 800+yrs in the future, very different to what they expected
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 23, 2018
This is out of left field for Dalzelle, something totally different to his usual Omega Force and Black Fleet Series.
This book is far removed from those books, there are no alien invasions, or a Heroic crew saving the galaxy.
In Blueshift, an eccentric billionaire has paid (and raised a fair bit of the capital), for a starship to be built to travel to a faraway star, and then return to Earth. The only catch? With relativistic speeds and distances, the crew, although they will be in cryosleep for long periods of time, will be gone for over 800+years before they return to Earth. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Are we there yet?’
Unfortunately, being a privately funded trip, there were some things that weren’t given a lot of consideration, such as the psychological evaluations and compatibility of the crew. Like two of the crew are actually a couple who have been married and since divorced, and kind of hate each other. The eccentric who funded it then decides he is actually going to go at the last minute, making everyone a little on edge. The rest of the crew are all a little bit ‘different’ each in their own kind of way, brilliant sure, but with their own eccentricities and most either bordering on some form of psychosis, or having all the warmth of an asteroid in the Kuiper belt…
Dalzelle has always written some outstanding characters, it is always one of his strengths in all his books, his characters in the Black Fleet series give it an edge that makes it a stand-out not only in its genre, but just Sci-Fi series in general.
In Blueshift though, he has raised the bar again, it is like he has been studying the human psyche so he can write these characters like exquisite pieces of art. From the ex-Military Captain of the spaceship, who barely keeps control of the ship, to the sleazy mechanic, who can’t resist making a pass at female crew members, to the ships biological expert, who has a genius IQ, but the empathy of psycho-killer, and then there is the Billionaire who paid for it all, who then decides at the last minute to come along, but wants to spend the entire mission in his cryo-tube. There are several other characters, and they are all just exceptional. The dialogue and interactions between the crew are compelling reading, keeping you totally absorbed in the story. You suddenly find you have lost hours with this book, getting totally lost in the story, captivated by the characters, and needing to find out what is going to happen next as one thrill after another unfolds.
The story, as alluded to earlier, follows the crew of a starship that has returned to Earth several hundred years into the future. Expecting to find an Earth that has evolved and a human race that has advanced by several hundred years, they instead find an Earth with no signals, no emissions, no lights, no nothing. Civilisation has gone.
Thus begins this fascinating story as the crew returns to their home planet to try and uncover the truth.
I don’t want to give too much away, this is an amazing story, that takes a bit of time to introduce the characters, but once they reach Earth, it is non-stop action, fast-moving thrills, with twists and turns you don’t see coming. That has all been said before I know, but this story is different, it is a truly extraordinary piece of writing, and although it is science fiction, you can actually believe this unfolding, Dalzelle has done a lot of research to keep it real.
If you are a fan of Dalzelle’s, you will want to give it a go, as even though it is different, it is some of his best writing yet. For everyone else, this is a brilliant sci-fi story, with elements of Mil Sci-Fi, Colonisation, Space Exploration, Time Travel, Post-Apocalyptic, Hard Sci-Fi, but most of all, just some exceptional character writing.
If you had any interest in the ‘concept’ of After Earth, this is similar, but just a 100% better.
Give it a go, you will not be disappointed, it is a brilliant read.