The Cook husband and wife writing team plows right into the plot of the third book, which follows the second book’s off-planet adventure with the XYZ, Earth’s original intelligent race evolved from whales hundreds of millions of years ago and then returned to Earth from an aborted colonization attempt on another planet, only to find humanity on the brink of extinction. The XYZ’s belief in percivious, or altruism, compels them to help save humanity. The story and ideas are complex—new readers should start with the first book, and even seasoned fans may find it challenging, at times, to keep up as the XYZ, whose enormous HELIX spaceship hides on the far side of the moon, send representative Herriden to Earth. He is able to transmit messages telepathically to human/XYZ hybrids, created to be humanity’s salvation, but Herriden’s mission is threatened when the HELIX is discovered and under attack.
A flurry of characters introduced well into the book distract from an unfolding, multifaceted plot that touches on fascinating conspiracies and Human Pinnacle Theory, the idea that humans have reached an evolutionary pinnacle, unable to further adapt to the environment. Nevertheless, all these threads eventually tie together, and patient fans of ambitious SF will enjoy a satisfying conclusion that celebrates altruism and teamwork. Readers will savor the uplifting conclusion to an ambitious saga.
Takeaway: Lovers of intricate SF will enjoy this finale that finds Earth’s two intelligence species teaming up.
Great for fans of: Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary, Alechia Dow’s The Sound of Stars.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A