The best thing I can tell you about Fear the Sky is that I plan to read (or listen to, as I listened to the audiobook version) the sequels. Really, if you have any interest in this book, that’s the best starting place. It made me interested in learning more of the story.
When I downloaded this audiobook, I didn’t know much about it. I think it was just recommended by Audible. I hadn’t read hard science fiction in a long time; it’s one of those genres I read in phases. I went through a big Greg Bear/ Ben Bova kind of phase years ago, and so I guessed this was maybe along those lines. However, I still didn’t know quite what to expect.
I knew it started with approaching apparent asteroids and there was an alien invasion involved (no spoilers here, those facts are right there at the beginning), so I was picturing maybe something along these lines:
or maybe I just miss Atari games a lot.
It turned out to be a little more complex. The asteroids hit, but they aren’t just asteroids; they contain alien invaders, the advance robot team of alien invaders who are setting up the planet for the full force invasion to come in 11 years. Again, not exactly spoilers; this comes up pretty fast. I just won’t tell you about a couple other twists that were genuinely twisty and fun in the story.
There’s plenty of action, terror, technology, and a mix of characters. I appreciated that the women were not just love interests (as often happens in sci-fi written by men), though I think they could have been a little better drawn. Actually, characterization is not the best part of this book in general. I think what this book reminds me of most (more than the science fiction authors I mentioned earlier) are more mainstream books by Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, or Robin Cook. Lots of tech, lots of action/violence, conspiracies, twists and turns, etc. It’s a fun read overall, and if I ‘d been reading rather than listening, I might have gotten more sociopolitical commentary from it, which I think was just below the surface. However, from what I’ve seen in other reviews, it’s possible the writing would have impressed me less in written form. There are a lot of reviews referring to poor grammar and punctuation, which may have annoyed me in print, but I didn’t notice when read by the excellent narrator, R.C. Bray. I know he’s excellent just because he didn’t annoy me or take me out of the story at all. I can be very picky about narration.
I think the one thing that I found odd or unbelievable (yes, I know, it’s not like science fiction is always so believable) is that the alien characters were too human. Yes, they disguise themselves as humans, but their emotions, social interactions, and ways of thinking all seemed similar to humanity–nothing very alien about them except their advanced technology and the descriptions of their real bodies. I guess that happens in a lot of science fiction, because of course we as humans can hardly imagine what a real alien race would actually be like, but I do like it when aliens seem more alien.
Again, I will download the next book in the series and no doubt write a review to let you know if I enjoy it as much. That’s the best recommendation I can give for this book–I am not a completist who finishes a series (or even a book) I don’t like. In the meantime, I’m going to keep an eye on the sky.