Orbit: May 28th, 2015 (Romantic Science Fiction)*
This book’s premise intrigued me. I don’t often come across books whose protagonists are female redheaded genius mathematicians.
The set-up involves a mysterious, too-good-to-be-true fellowship position. When Connie finally arrives at her new office, however, she discovers that she is not the only bright mathematician to get the job. Which is shrouded in secrecy. As she and her coworkers work to solve the problem they’ve been given, they also poke their noses into the mystery about what problem itself. What are these numbers they’ve been given, and what do they mean? What could be so important and so desperately secret at the same time?
The answer is aliens. And they are among the mathematicians.
It’s a pretty interesting story, up until about the halfway mark, when the problem and the mystery are both solved, and Connie and her new friends try to save the world from the inevitable danger. There’s a bit of romance, too, which gets resolved at about the same time.
So maybe that was why I lost interest – all the puzzles completed, all the relationships solidified at the halfway mark, and a predictable series of events leading up to the foregone conclusion.The plot (what are these strange signals from outer space? Aliens! Oh no, invasion is imminent, what do we do?) has been done before, over and over. Despite the top-secrecy of the aliens, everything about this book felt superficial, without depth.
The narrative is split between Connie, the MI5 agent in charge of the mathematicians, and a few other characters. Some of the other points of view were interesting, but mostly their perspectives did not seem to add much to the story. Further, outside perspectives were included like vignettes in a science fiction movie, where the waitress has a terrible day right before the spaceship lands, or the cop follows his normal routine until the chaos begins. Some may appreciate these contextual additions, but I found them distracting.
You might enjoy it if you like light, quick, and romantic but ultimately shallow alien invasion stories. I did not, not enough to finish it.
*Advance copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Similar in tone and universe, Superheroes Anonymous has a bit more depth and interest. It features superheroes instead of aliens.