BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The story of what really happened at Roswell takes a turn as the aliens who crashed there return to Earth once more. This time 2 creatures live – one who proves friendly to man and professes a desire to help, and one whose goal is total elimination of life from the planet..
PROS: Good overall UFO story, strong depiction of the US military and its future enhancements
CONS: Some ideas a little difficult to buy – the Roswell rehash can be tough to get through, and there are parts too similar to the campy film Tremors.
BOTTOM LINE: Fans of UFO fiction will find this a great read, and fans of military fiction won’t be disappointed either.
Major Jack Collins is the tough-as-nails army commander who proves successful in the field despite his inability to play the political game. This is ultimately his downfall, as his showing up his superiors at the Pentagon proves impossible for them to overlook despite his Medal of Honor and numerous other awards. The President rescues him and assigns him to run security for the Event Group – a supersecret government agency filled with researchers and archaeologists that searches for and finds the most important artifacts from man’s history (and seems to be the truth behind nearly every conspiracy theory ever created.) As Jack takes command, the most buried secret is reborn when a clearly saucer-shaped alien spacecraft crashes to Earth in nearly the exact way as another craft fell near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. This time, two different alien species survive the crash. The first is a small, benevolent creature who seems genuinely interested in helping mankind – especially when it has to deal with the second create. This creature is known as The Destoyer and has been sent here to eliminate all life on the planet.
What follows is a healthy collection of action, intrigue, and conspiracies to drive the Event Group, Collins, and the best of the US special operations forces to try to deal with the threat. Overall, I really enjoyed the read – it was fast-paced, possessed of a decent respect for the military and a good depiction of the hardware they use, and a pretty decent story. It’s definitely a book fans of UFO-type fiction will enjoy.
Unfortunately, while overall a pretty good action-packed thriller, the story suffers from a few issue that keep it from being great. First, the Roswell story-line is a bit difficult to swallow. I personally am tired of it, and its a bit hard to accept as the basis for this story. Second, the enemy creature has the ability to swim through the ground, and this part is too close to the Kevin Bacon film Tremors and its campy depiction of a small town dealing with worm-like creatures who can also swim through the ground. Golemon does a decent job describing a pseudo-science reason for this (stating that the creatures are much denser than most things on our Earth, and as such can swim through the dirt and sand like we swim through the less-dense water.) It didn’t prevent me from enjoying the action and the story, but it did detract from things just a bit. Goleman has to be aware of this similarity and I can only imagine he was willing to try to fight through it, so I give him credit for the mostly-successful attempt.
His characters are a bit two-dimensional. The character of Jack Collins is one we could have all written, the love interest is the ‘smart but attractive junior officer’, and the rest of the characters largely fill their niches. The one character that seems to transcend the stereotype is an old prospector Gus, who befriends the alien survivor and coaches him on how to communicate and help the men. Overall, he was a decent character who seemed to change and grow due to his experiences – too bad nobody else did.
However, these limitations didn’t keep me from enjoying the time I spent reading it. Assuming the book meets with commercial success, Golemon and the publishers are at work on a sequel, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’d like to read it. The Event Group, and its search for and possession of key artifacts from history – like Noah’s Ark – has a lot of potential. It isn’t explored much here, but I could imagine future books exploring items ala National Treasures being a bit more interesting and less travelled than the story of aliens at Roswell.
Note: this book was sent to me by the publisher for review.