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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6729-2 B08GHQCFY1
  • 486 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6728-5 1525567284
  • 486 pages
  • $18.99
Hardcover Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6727-8 1525567276
  • 486 pages
  • $30.99
Connor Mackay
Author
The Albatross: Contact (Albatross, #1)
Present day Earth’s first contact with an advanced extraterrestrial race doesn’t go how people thought it would. There’s no invasion, no unfortunate probes, and no misunderstanding. The Lumenarians have come desperately seeking our help. Light years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a shadowy race known as the Forsaken is decimating their people, and the Lumenarians have arrived on Earth to recruit humankind as soldiers. Equipped with new weaponry and biotechnology that gives them devastating abilities, the Terran volunteers are thrust into the middle of a vicious interstellar war begun when people were still firing muskets. Follow Will Reach, a damaged ex-special forces alcoholic with nothing to lose; Sarah Li, one of Earth’s brightest minds trying to find her place in the stars; and Arthur, the enigmatic alien leader of the recruitment mission and commander of the flagship, Albatross. But with inner demons, inter-species struggles, and self-doubt plaguing the human/Lumenarian alliance, their ability to overcome the Forsaken looks increasingly grim as the battle looms near.
Reviews
Mackay’s debut novel is an action-packed science fiction odyssey. The story kicks off on Earth in the unspecified near future, when first contact is made with the Lumenarians, a peaceful alien empire that has come to beg for humanity’s assistance in its 150-year war with its mysterious enemies, the Forsaken. The book covers the 18 months following the Lumenarians’ request from the points of view of three characters: Will Reach, an alcoholic former Special Forces veteran seeking to escape his past; Sarah Li, a brilliant astrophysicist who puts off becoming an astronaut to explore the new horizons that the war with the Forsaken offers; and Arthur, the warrior-poet Lumenarian commander who comes to Earth in search of his people’s last hope.

Those expecting a fantastical journey across the stars will be surprised by how true-to-life the characters, multicultural society, and story feel. Mackay’s Earth is startlingly realistic, and so are the responses to the Lumenarians’ arrival; one particularly powerful subplot deals with human xenophobia in the face of alien life. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers craving the next installment in McKay’s planned five-book series.

Readers will laugh out loud at the quick-witted internal monologues of the book’s likeable protagonists, as well as at the clever cultural references peppered throughout. Even readers who don’t think they’re into science fiction will find much to love in this novel, from its heartwarming relationships to its masterful interweaving of Samuel Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner alongside laser battles and space travel. The Albatross succeeds as both an adventure and as thoughtful social commentary.

Takeaway: Clever writing meets heart-pounding plot twists in this must-read science fiction epic.

Great for fans of: Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Ursula K. Le Guin.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B+

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6729-2 B08GHQCFY1
  • 486 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6728-5 1525567284
  • 486 pages
  • $18.99
Hardcover Details
  • 08/2020
  • 978-1-5255-6727-8 1525567276
  • 486 pages
  • $30.99

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