Heaven's War

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Heaven's War

What would happen if I was suddenly “scooped up” from Earth and taken to a spaceship with nothing but the clothes on my back and no way to contact my home planet? This was a question I kept asking myself while reading David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt’s gripping sci-fi novel Heaven’s War, which is the sequel to their previous novel, Heaven’s Shadow. I have not read the first book in this series yet, so I was unacquainted with everything the major characters had gone through. Still, I couldn’t stop reading this story because I wanted to see how these characters survived aboard a vessel they’d called Keanu. For many people, the shock and terror of being snatched right off of Earth and taken aboard a ship is a harrowing reality, but even so, there are aliens who greet them and give some idea of what is going on. In this case, however, the people snatched from Earth – in this case, from two locations: Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India – have no food, water, source of electricity or even furniture to sit down on. They do have a “Temple,” which is a place where they can get alien food and some kind of fruity drink, and this Temple becomes their headquarters.

I kept wondering why it was THESE particular people who were taken from Earth. I can understand why the NASA guys were taken. And because of some backstory that is thankfully provided, I understand why Rachel Stewart and her father, Zack, are there. But I don’t understand why some post-Katrina teenager is there or a woman originally from Australia is there. Perhaps this has to do with the first book. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger and it kept me turning the pages. I really enjoyed this very interesting story because it is exciting and mysterious, and not just about something that could very well happen in the real world. I also liked seeing how everybody tried to communicate with the aliens they DO end up running into, and I thought it was hilarious there was a dog there barking his head off and chasing after aliens. The Revenants, reincarnated people, were a bit creepy. It seemed like their only purpose was to serve as communicators between the Architects, who run the ship, and the people imprisoned on it. It was unfortunate their “new lives” did not last long, because some of them were loved ones. I appreciated how some characters discussed what it would be like if such a program of bringing people back to life existed on Earth. What would the moral and social consequences be if we could come back to life? What does it say about what awaits us after we die? Some characters go through the pain of losing someone AGAIN and we have to wonder if that is a consequence we would welcome if given the chance at rebirth, albeit being reborn the same age we were when we died. This was something I pondered after finishing the book and I so it was not just an enjoyable reading experience and a great story I had on my mind after reading the last page.

Life changes for a group of individuals in Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India when bubble-like things, called “vesicles,” somehow or another “scoop” them from Earth and transport them to a Near Earth Object called Keanu, a spaceship piloted by alien beings called the Architects. These people must learn to set aside their personal, social and racial differences in order to get along as one unit and try to survive without food or water on Keanu, but their challenges do not stop there. They must also figure out how to communicate with alien beings they discover on Keanu, fight off what seems to be an infestation threatening their source of survival, and ultimately figure out how to get home so they can save the world from something more sinister that has been waging war with the Architects for centuries.

Book Blurb for Heaven's War

When it first appeared, the astronomers named the asteroid Keanu.

A Near Earth Object, from a distant constellation, it was headed directly toward our sun.

But when we went to meet it, it turned out to be far more than a huge rock hurtling through space...

The two teams of astronauts sent to explore Keanu discovered it is, in fact, a spacecraft, a giant ship with an alien crew. A ship that had headed to Earth with a mission and a message: Help Us. A brave new frontier beckons. But we are about to learn that it comes with a price...

Without warning, the aliens transport small groups of humans from the competing scientific communities of Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India to the vast interior habitats of Keanu. Their first challenge is to survive. Their second; to discover why The Architects—the unknown, unseen aliens controlling the asteroid—brought them there. And soon a third emerges: they must find a way to take control of Keanu.

Because the NEO is moving again—away from Earth. The Architects are headed home...

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2012 5.00