Children of the Comet
by Donald Moffitt
This is a very difficult book to review. There are two scientific concepts that are the basis for Children of the Comet. These brilliant ideas have the potential for a fantastic book.
- If a spaceship is traveling at a speed very close to the speed of light, time slows down for its passengers. The closer to the speed of light that you get, the more time compresses. So if you spend 50 or more years traveling at near light speed, billions of years will pass for the rest of the universe. Then when you turn around and head back to Earth at the same speeds, you may arrive back at Earth 7 billion years after you left. It is as if you were a time traveler.
- If a tree can be genetically modified so that it could live in a vacuum and also could use the icy material in a comet to furnish its water and minerals, then that tree could grow to be hundreds of miles tall. This could furnish wood for building in space. After many thousands or millions of years, these trees could become living worlds, with people and animals living in and on them.
I could imagine so many great epics that could be told using either of these ideas. Children of the Comet could have been one of those epic books, but the promise was only partially realized. The first half of the book, especially the portion that takes place on the tree is great. The second half is more of the typical sci-fi space opera. It wasn’t bad, just disappointing. I was so excited. I thought that this might really be great. Then it ended up just being average.
So I guess that I have to average it out. Great concepts, great story line and characters on the tree, average finish, makes for a 4 Star book. I still give Children of the Comet a Big Thumbs Up, because I love the ideas that Mr. Moffitt had. I just wish that the whole plot could have lived up to its potential.
I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.
In this brand-new cosmic adventure by the author of The Genesis Quest and The Jupiter Theft, Torris, son of the Facemaker, knows only his small community at the base of the great Tree on a comet with almost no gravity or atmosphere. Torris’s daily struggle for survival includes harvesting frozen air to keep breathing, dodging flutterbeasts, and hunting meatbeasts for food. When it comes time to make his vision quest to the top of the Tree, Torris is completely unprepared for what he finds: first, a thieving and hostile fellow quester; then, Ning, a female hunter from a neighboring tree-bearing comet, who has catapulted across empty space in search of food to save her family; and ultimately, alien visitors in a massive starship that has spent billions of years crossing the galaxy.
Shocked at the cultural differences between his home and Ning’s and stunned by the changes precipitated by the arrival of the spaceship, Torris must learn quickly, adapt even faster, and face an uncertain and rapidly changing future unlike anything he has ever imagined.
Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (October 13, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
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