Home to generations of humans, the starship Argonos has wandered aimlessly throughout the galaxy for hundreds of years, desperately searching for other signs of life. Now, a steady, unidentified transmission lures them toward a nearby planet, where the grisly remains of a former colony await the crew. Haunted by what they have seen, the crew has no choice but to follow when another signal beckons the Argonos into deep space—and into the dark heart of an alien mystery...
“[Russo] is not afraid to take on the question of evil in a divinely ordered universe...This is an ambitious novel of ideas that generates considerable suspense while respecting its sources, its characters, and most important, the reader.”—The New York Times
“A tale of high adventure and personal drama in the far future.”—Library Journal
“Relentlessly suspenseful...full of mystery...very exciting.”—Science Fiction Chronicle
After raising some tantalizing religious issues, Philip K. Dick Award-winner Russo fails to deliver a real climax and leaves the plot unresolved in this initially suspenseful but ultimately disappointing novel. Bartolomeo Aguilera, the story's narrator, gives a haunting picture of life on the Argonos, a starship that is home to generations of humans born aboard her; no one remembers the ship's origins--its birthplace may have been Earth--but it drifts year after year "almost at random through the galaxy," without apparent purpose or goal. Finally the ship lands on an unknown planet. There the crew finds a Dante-esque scene in a chamber located deep within a jungle: "There were hundreds of bones scattered about the floor, strips of decayed flesh, pools and smears of viscous fluid. Just as it was impossible to avoid brushing against the hanging skeletons, so was it impossible to avoid stepping on bone or in thick, sticky liquid as I moved through the room." A mutiny follows. Bartolomeo is imprisoned, but when a mysterious ship, seemingly imbued with evil, shows up, he is released and named leader of an exploration team. Here the book becomes largely static and uninvolving. The hoped-for resolution never occurs, the religious questions remain unexplored, while the ending proves an all-too-familiar shaggy-God story. Perhaps a sequel will supply some answers.
Dark and Suspenseful
This a fast moving read with some interesting concepts. The ending, however is anticlimactic and disappointing.
I really enjoyed this book. kinda started out slow at first but after the climax, I got sucked into the book. loved it!
Worth your money
Richard Russo has a way of writing that will allows you to become immersed in his story for hours on end. The main character, Bartolomeo, is very realistic and believable. Bartolomeo's relationships with the rest of the crew are very passionate and will have you screaming at the injustices or smiling with joy. Overall, this book gives a great look at religion without trying to push anything on you, a very well thought out mysterious atmosphere, and a great science fiction feel without being too nerdy. I'd definitely recommend it.