What if you were all alone in this world ? .. What if you weren't ?
|Offworld by Robin Parrish|
Astronauts go through a huge deal of training to prepare them for the unexpected millions of miles away from home. The first manned mission to Mars was no different. But the biggest challenge they face, the biggest "unknown unknown" for them is waiting right here back at home. Losing all contact with home on way back, they return to an world that's completely uninhabited. They set off an a journey to determine the cause and run into more than they can handle.
And then there's some unexpected things happening - buildings burning down, unexplained black outs - which leads to the only logical conclusion : There is some..er.."thing" out there. And these brave astronauts might not be as "alone" as they thought they were.
This book keeps you guessing right from the very beginning as to what could be the reason behind this sudden disappearance. Is it an alien abduction? Is it a conspiracy ? Is it a divine interjection ? Is this their minds playing tricks ? Is it a sick joke ? Or is it just a bad, bad dream ? - The answer is stranger than you'd expect.
Having just a handful of characters in the entire storyline is needle that the author has threaded quite expertly. You get to know the characters in quite the depth, but you still feel like you've barely scratched the surface. You might get to know them very well, but you'd rarely trust any one of them as all of them have this hidden facet to their personality, some hidden agenda which makes you question each and every one and their motives right from page 1. .
Especially this one survivor they meet along the way. The only one to still be "there" wile the rest of the world's evaporated away. The fact that you know so very little about this person haunts the reader at every turn of the page.
I guess the story would be best summarised by this quote form the book itself :
"Life is poetry.
Stop. Watch. Listen.
There’s poetry all over.
And the thing about poetry?
It don’t write itself."