TITLE: Heaven’s Shadow
AUTHOR: David S. Goyer & Michael Cassult
BLURB: In 2016 a pair of amateur astronomers spot an unidentified object – an object one hundred kilometres across and heading towards Earth. As it approaches, NASA and the Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition race to land vehicles on the unexplored surface. With power, money and politics behind each mission, both crews have orders to stop at nothing to get there first.
Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt is a novel set against a background of space expeditions by NASA in 2019. The planned space race by the US and a coalition of India, Russia and Brazil to be the first moon landing of the 21st century turns into something much more when a Near Earth Object appears in our solar system and is on a trajectory that might allow for an actual landing on the object.
A considerable amount of the action takes place between Johnson Space Centre in Houston, the NASA spacecraft and the NEO itself.
It will come as no surprise that the novel reads a lot like a novelisation of a movie or TV series given the fact both authors have written screenplays before – Dark Knight and Twilight Zone for example. That doesn’t in any way take away from the enjoyment of the novel and the adventure format makes sure the pace isn’t over duly disturbed by the quite good character back stories we’re filled in on throughout the book. The level of detail offered for almost all of the characters would indicate the start of a series of books to come.
The inevitable twist in the tale is telegraphed a little too early for my liking but when it arrives it fits in well with the setup and the eventual climax.