Title: Beyond the Milky Way
Genre(s): Science fiction; First contact; Alien invasion
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Review: As a native Floridian, I really enjoyed the descriptions of how the community comes together during a NASA launch. It is such a special moment in history and Aithal was able to capture the essence of a NASA launch very well. Overall, I really enjoyed the concept of this novel, especially with the underlying messages regarding our earth and even the potential for life beyond what is sustained on our planet. I also think it was a cool idea to utilize the knowledge base that most have regarding our current space navigation systems and merge that with more advanced technology that has not yet been produced. The characters in this book were engaging, but I wish there was a greater depth to them. While reading, I had a difficult time feeling like I was immersed in the story and I think this was due to the lack of character development. I think we only saw the surface of each character. For me, the female lead was especially frustrating, but that is likely due to my preference for a strong minded heroine. Aithal's writing style is also different from what I normally read as I found a bit of the descriptions to be repetitive. If there was less repetition of the setting descriptors and a greater amount of character information I would have enjoyed this read a lot more. Overall, I think that Aithal presented a really interesting plot and concept that left me thinking about the greater problems of our planet. However, I think the writing could have been improved. I recommend this to anyone looking for an intriguing and quite unique science-fiction novel!
Book Description: "Are we alone? Three astronauts go to space in search of a planet that probably has water—one of the basic elements for humanity to survive. Do they find it? What else do they find? They encounter something—something strange—beyond their wildest imaginations, and their mission-to-explore becomes a mission-to-survive. They experience something that makes them question their beliefs. All the things they had taken for granted, everything they had seen and learned, don’t seem to apply any longer. Something happens along the way that makes them yearn to come back to Earth. After all, home is where the heart is. This is not just another science fiction. Rather, it will make you question your own beliefs—may they be scientific, religious, political, or something else. In the first installment of The Galaxy Series, find out about the strange world they discover."