My local bookstore is really great about making recommendations for books I may otherwise have never known about. (You may remember, this was how I discovered Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle.) There’s nothing better than popping by the store and checking out what’s new and which employees have left rave reviews for titles and authors I might enjoy.
When I dropped by last Friday, I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular. But when I started to browse the SciFic/Fantasy section, I saw a book with a note attached that said “LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN THE X-FILES AND WORLD WAR Z (NOT THE MOVIE)”. I was intrigued, for sure. And then I saw the blurb on the cover was a quote from none other than Pierce Brown, so I just knew I had to buy it.
I tore threw this thing in record time and I worshipped every last page. Yes, the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are mixed (and mostly positive here on the CBR site). But this book was totally in my wheelhouse and did not disappoint me for a second.
It starts off with a mysterious incident: a young girl named Rose goes for a bike ride in the woods near her home in Deadwood, SD. The next thing she knows, she is lying in the palm of a gigantic (over 20 feet from wrist to finger) metal hand, in a very deep hole, looking up at her father and a team of fire fighters.
Rose grows up to become a scientist, and is charged with attempting to figure out the mystery of her metal hand. Who built it? How old is it? What is it made out of? What’s its purpose? And are there more pieces like it out there?
Slowly, but surely, Rose and her team of military specialists, scientists, and other academics find other pieces that fit together to create a giant woman. Rose guesses that this woman was built at least 3,000 years ago…meaning that it was not created by any known civilization on earth. But what is the robot woman for? Is it a statue? Is it a weapon?
The story is told in snippets of interviews, log entries, and recorded conversations with an un-named, unknown man, quite reminiscent of the CSM from the X-Files. He knows things, he isn’t going to tell you how he knows them, and he wants you to get the job done, no questions asked.
But unlike CSM, this unknown narrator eventually starts to care a bit about the people involved in this mystery. Yes, he does some absolutely abhorrent things (um, the leg surgery part was really a bit much), but in the end, his decisions have mostly been for the greater good.
And this book has Star Wars jokes! In order to escape a potentially deadly situation, some of the characters plan an escape based solely upon a scheme Han Solo attempted once.
Needless to say, I could not put this thing down. I devoured this book and was delighted to find that it is the first in a proposed trilogy. The second book is on hold for my at my local library, and I’m getting antsy waiting for it to be my turn.