This is kind of a short book although it does seem to cover a lot of ground. The premise is something I’ve read about in other books, but this one seems to start and get a pretty good way into the story just in this first book. Humanity was fleeting the Solar System and they all did so in about the first chapter! I was thinking it would take the story awhile to get to that point, but I was very wrong.
We find out that Pluto Observatory has seen what was dreaded. From the deep dark of space an insect like monster similar to locusts has descended on all humanity. They are huge and they are hungry. Some how they have evovled to survive in space so they can travel from planet to planet devouring any and all organic matter. It’s how they live and right now, they are headed to Earth.
Earth has known these Chian, as they’re called, have been coming for quite some time. At one time, it was hoped that his horde of space insects would ignore the Solar System, but they got a taste of humans by overrunning several human colonies and now they want more, a lot more. There is no way to stop them. Oh, they can be killed usually with kinetic weapons, but there are so many, killing just one doesn’t do much. Even blowing up huge swarms of them is only a temporary reprieve. More just seem to show up and continue to show up eating everything.
Since Earth hasn’t been able to figure out a way to exterminate this space pests, the decision was made a long time ago to find a new planet for humanity. Project Exodus was created and was well on its way. “The Passage” as it’s called was discovered to be a accelerating tunnel which would boost normal FLT drives so they could cover tremendous distances. It’s use had been tested using drones and they had identified a near-Earth type planet on the other side of the galaxy, far, far from Earth and far from the Chian. So, plans were made and practiced to get as many humans as possible aboard whatever spacecraft that were available and head through the Passage to this new planet. The time to leave had now come and it was up to the military to get everyone lined up in front of the Passage gate and get the thing turned on and running.
Admiral Raymond Warwick was the senior military leader and he was organizing the great Exodus. Right at the beginning of the book, he is watching space and specifically around Mars. If they Chain show-up there, then he knows they have to go. He has several flotillas arranged near Mars space. It is hoped that the Chian will become so involved in eating everything on Mars, that they might ignore the fleets, but when they did, the fleet wasn’t going to let them through to Earth and possibly destroy all the starships lining up to go through the Passage gate. Only the Chian had their own plans and were moving a lot fast than thought.
Captain David Warwick, the Son of the Admiral, was in command of the Daedalus, and that starship was to make sure everyone of the civilian and military ships near the Passage gate got through. Captain Warwick was also the one to instruct the scientist when to imitate startup of the Passage Gate. His wife, Major Beth Warwick was currently down on Earth with a special ops team attempting to retrieve one last scientist. Since the word had gotten out that not everyone on the planet was going to be taken on the Exodus, thing had become chaotic. Marshall law had been declared a long time ago, but armed citizens that missed out on the lottery were attempting to find any way they could to get on one of the starships. Major Warwick had to secure this scientist and get back to a shuttle and off the planet before the departure time was called. It didn’t really look like she nor her other soldiers were going to make it.
Then the word was sent from the Admiral to his son, Captain Warwick, to get the Passage gate started up and start heading the ships through it. The Chian were coming and they were coming straight for Earth. The Admiral directed his starship to also head for the gate, but when he arrived, he noticed a slight problem. How were they going to shut the thing down once everyone was through? No one knew if the Chian could survive a multi-light-year journey through the passage and no one wanted to find out.
All of this happened in the first chapter! Wow, yes, Wow!
Ok, so there’s a few things that kind of got my emotions stirred up about this story. First, it seems everything is happening in a panic. They really haven’t had a chance to test the Passage which is really surprising. They don’t seem to have a good handle on who is on all those starship, especially the civilians ships. They also don’t have a good handle on who is being left behind that could have provided more insight into the Chian problem and help with the resettlement of humanity. The idea that the Chian were coming and that they would arrive with in a reasonable amount of time seems to have been ignored. Everyone of those ships Captains should have been vetted to make sure they were honest men ready to help humanity and if not, they should have been replaced. Marshall law had been implemented a long time ago, so if you weren’t going to be an asset to humanity, you didn’t need to go along, starship Captain or not, there were plenty of them left around and not enough ships.
I’m also at a loss as to why the who exodus wasn’t better organized. Oh, they seemed to have it organized, but no one actually knew how many ships were actually going through and what they contained. Why hadn’t Earth built more large exodus ships for the rest of the population? And then, the military don’t even trust each other. It’s like they’ve never worked together until just now when everyone is supposed to follow orders and go. What happens if the Admiral in charge gets killed? Who takes his place? What happens if a ship is attacked by the Chian while it’s trying to go through the Passage gate? Are they allowed to bring an Chian clinging to their hull along with them? Lots of stuff not answered in the book.
Still, while short, the story did get going after awhile. They don’t have an easy time of it even after arriving at the new earth-like planet. It’s not quite as peaceful as they had hoped. No word as to the title or publication of the second book. We’ll just have to wait and see.