This is the 4th book in the science fiction series Not Alone by Craig Falconer and I hope to write a simple review that won’t give any spoilers about earlier books as I suppose it’s quite unusual to review something so late in a series! So, I’ll start from the beginning.
“Aliens exist, the government knows, and Dan McCarthy just found the proof”
There are 6 books in the series, the first three being named The Contact Trilogy, followed by The Discovery Trilogy with all books in the series set in the present day. This means that these are not SciFi books involving interplanetary wars, empire vs empire, galaxy hopping, Star Wars or Star Trek styled novels. Quite simply they are about how our planet and species deals with the discovery that we are not alone in the universe, that aliens have visited our planet and are about to do so again. So, what do YOU think might happen ….. do we communicate and cooperate with them as a unified human race or does everything go through the USA? Is there panic and fear or excitement and hope? Do the media behave responsibly and “report” or do they chase and hound as they express “opinions” to increase their circulation or online hits? And is everyone positive about the benefits that may occur such as enhancements in technology, medicine, planet protection and agriculture?
“Who speaks for the planet” is a major theme of the series which exposes the divisions in politics, cultures and beliefs across our planet as nations and politicians argue about the way forward, with the UN and it’s security council veto system getting nowhere! But what emerges is a modicum of sanity as the aliens decide that they will only speak through Dan McCarthy and his family because he was the person brave enough to expose the initial conspiracy of silence and this results in a more inclusive organisation being formed to “speak for the planet”. Despite this there is an ongoing battle between honesty and integrity vs cynicism and manipulation, and the first three books are all set on Earth as we more closely engage with the Messengers as we begin to call the aliens.
The fourth book in the series is the first in the Discovery Trilogy and is set much more on the Messengers own planet. The Messengers have their own problems too and have apparently been living in a dome sheltered city to protect them from an environment that wouldn’t support life. They have become overly reliant on an unseen body/group called the Elders who have suddenly stopped communicating with them and it seems that their dome shelter may be failing. What transpires next is a shocking set of discoveries about the shelter, their atmosphere, and the elders, all of which affects Earth too. Solutions are going to require major cooperation between our species, but will the still divided human species unify and cooperate?