Today’s book review is actually of two books because the alien encounter does not really occur until the second book in the series.  (This is not a spoiler, it’s alluded to in the book’s blurb.)

Freefall: A First Contact Technothriller (Earth’s Last Gambit Book 1) and Lifeboat: A First Contact Technothriller (Earth’s Last Gambit Book 2) by Felix R. Savage.
Setting: Present Day into Near Future

Aliens:  Humanoid.  Can communicate with humans  (tech assisted speech).

Alien Castes/Species: One race, two factions.  Has a caste of warriors, and also the spiritual leader who holds the keys to the ship.

Encounter: Different depending on the faction, one violent, one deceptively friendly–both ultimately dangerous.

This series was definitely suspenseful.  Though aliens are alluded to in Freefall, ultimately the novel is much more about the human race, how it responds to the knowledge that humans are not alone in the universe.  The first novel spans a decade+ detailing the efforts to build the ship that will be capable of travel to Europa.  The first novel is filled with lots of jargon that I was not familiar with and I struggled to stay with it, but the introduction of the ship designer Hannah really engaged me and the pacing though slow, picked up enough that I read the second book as well to get to the actual alien encounter itself.

I’m definitely looking forward to Book 3 to find out what happens next.  Author’s website is here.  Pick up a free short story when you sign up for his newsletter.

Rating:

Book 1 =  4 Blasters

Book 2 = 5 Blasters

ART CREDITS: Amazing art “Towers” by Richard Dorran.  His DeviantArt profile here.