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Publisher's Summary

Years have passed since Earth encountered its first known interstellar object: Oumuamua. Now an even larger one has been discovered, following the exact same trajectory as its predecessor. Scientists around the world theorize that this can no longer be passed off as mere coincidence - the new contact must be an artificial construct of some kind.

With an ambitious plan to build a spacecraft and attempt a manned landing, a crew is formed. Disgraced astronaut Cassie Voges hopes to get selected for one last chance at redemption. Maverick billionaire Toby Merckx wants to beat his rivals to the extraordinary secrets he believes the object may unlock. And its controversial discoverer, Charles Hudson, seeks to escape his past and be remembered for something better.

What they find will change humanity forever.

©2021 John Triptych (P)2021 Tantor

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Commander Dave
  • 12-12-21

The Story had Potential but Failed in Execution

I selected this book based on the hope of a story of mystery and discovery but while the idea was sound Visitor fails in both execution and narration.

The premise is that a mysterious object is coming close enough to Earth for an expedition to land on the object and find out if it is natural or alien in origin. The first half of the book builds the main character, a female astronaut, and the detailing the discovery of the object and the private companies that want to get there. Both of these items were necessary and should have been enjoyable but it was tedious (writing) and sometimes irritating (narration).

There were problems with the portrayal of the main character throughout the book. She is described to be a very skilled and excellent astronaut pilot but comes across throughout the book as a helpless female who is unsure of herself and whines a lot. It is contradictory in that she does some excellent work and has great skill, but the personality doesn't match her described abilities.

Most other characters are usually too intense and almost always yelling and generally being irritating. I understand that some characters need to be intense but the way they are portrayed is just unrealistic. No one in real life is constantly yelling to get their way like the characters do in the book.

There are exceptions, such as the Russian cosmonaut commander whose demeanor was what the main character should have been. The discoverer of the object was also a pretty good character portrayal, except toward the end of the book when he seemed to morph into a different personality more along the lines of yelling and demanding his way.

The story of getting to the object also had potential but again turned out to be an exercise in tedium. The personal conflicts were shallow, the technical challenges faced were a bit contrived and come across flat and the actual landing and discovery was short and didn't make sense in places (what is that and why would it be there?) Further, the resulting problem faced by the crew was handled badly. There was lots of yelling, whining and seemingly out of character behavior by a crew faced with a serious challenge. Again, the exception was the Russian Cosmonaut commander who's portrayal was well written. There were two other characters who seemed more normal and professional but they always seemed to be background characters. This was odd since one of them was a scientist who was working on the issue they were facing and should have a larger role.

At the end of the book, the main character falls ill and loses about two weeks of time due to her condition. She awakes to find the ship quiet and finds a video of the scientist who gives an exposition of what has happened. It's almost like the author got tired of writing and just had a character explain it in a nutshell. The book ends with little answers and a poor setup for a next book.

The narration is problematic also. The normal reading voice of the narrator is fine and enjoyable but many of his characterizations either come across as very whiney or too intense. Some of this may be the writing but many characters just grated on my nerves. Once again, an exception was the Russian Cosmonaut whose portrayal was great.

I did finish the book because I wanted to see how it turned out but the whole experience was so unsatisfying that I returned it for a refund. I would normally not ask for a refund on a book I had finished but this one was an exception. This was book one and there is more of the story to tell, but with the experience with this book I will not be purchasing.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bobber-Man
  • 11-01-22

Run. Run Far Away From This Title, he thought

When purchasing audiobooks, I do my best to listen to the whole thing. Sometimes, I have to grind my way. This book?

Oh

My

God

Writing is lazy. The author's inability to adequately capture the protagonist's internal dialogue is maddening. He not only dumbs down that dialogue - constantly rehashing obvious things - but the phrase, "he/she thought" is repeated, I swear, 15 million times!

In fact, if you want to play a drinking game, each time you hear a variation of, "he/she thought," take a shot. I promise you won't make it until the end of a chapter.

Characters throughout continually repeated the same facts in a way that also continually repeats repeated facts repeatedly. As mentioned in another review, characters constantly shout at each other. There are a couple of character arcs that make zero sense, and did I mention that you hear the phrase "he thought" a billion times? Literally. One. Billion. Times.

In short, I couldn't finish the book. I wish I could get those hours back in my life. Instead, I'll use the memory of this book to keep me awake during long evening drives when staying awake is important.

Run away from this title. As fast as you can. Don't waste money or a credit.

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  • Rami Khalil
  • 14-01-22

very poor

in terms of science fiction, and apart from doubling the object there is not any single interesting new idea nor a twist on an existing idea nor a good explanation of any thing scientific nor fiction. Even no insight or explaining to the main idea.
the write had a stab on the human condition, polytics, media, law, and current day society and they all failed miserably.
The physics is poor, the time passing in the narrative is inconsistent, the characters will spend 3 minutes thinking before they say something then it's very shallow. small actions is being said to take 15minutes or an hour for some slow motion mysterious reason.
in terms of the story, so many gaps and contradictories, complete incoherently sometimes, and reversal of happenings as of the author forgets what he wrote a few chapters before.
the characters are shallow, and even the narration voices are poor and week.
the worst fiction and worst science fiction I ever read. also all ideas if any are a rib off. for example think of the movie Sphere.
absolutely disappointed.