A science-fiction wholly concerned with humanity’s first encounter with an alien race, First Contact is an interesting study into the human psychological response. The author uses a plot-driven story that spans numerous countries, environments, and people, while constructing a believable and yet mystifying alien race: the Gamin.
Numerous asteroids in space are soon suspected of being an alien attack and Earth finds itself paralysed and without response. Leaders of governments, motivated by self-interest, are in no cohesive shape to tackle the perceived threat…
First Contact starts with a detailed space battle, which was well-described and exciting; I felt I was really there, seeing the ships blast one another into submission using different tactics. The main narrative involved George Stanton, his wife and son. When George’s city is met with devastation, his family is left with nothing, until the Gamin aliens arrive with a massive spaceship, and then oddly start “recruiting” human workers. Wanting answers about the destruction of his city, George and his wife Lisa choose to work for the Gamin, whose alien ability to construct basic infrastructure is efficient. Through George, the reader sees Sharz, a Gamin, first hand. Sharz resembles George and Lisa in many ways, being kind, compassionate, and understanding. The Gamin relay messages through televisions to contact the human race directly. George’s perspective was what I liked most about First Contact because it focused purely on relations between humans and the Gamin.
First Contact is written in the present tense, and it took me a bit to get used to liking the style. It simplified some scenes and situations too much. However, further reading led me to conclude the tense wasn’t really the problem; it depended on the character and the focus of the plot. My enjoyment of First Contact was not consistent. There was a lot of explaining and many action scenes left my attention span wavering, especially with sub-characters Hayato and Radclyf. A lot of questions are posed about the Gamin, but few of them are answered. Most of the time, the reader is left with characters’ assumptions about Gamin motives, since they are not overtly hostile, social or co-operative.
When I had read 75% I realised that First Contact was extremely addictive and easy to read. The subject matter was very interesting, especially the ideas. Based on this fact, and my expectation that the sequel will be even better, I would certainly consider reading more from this author.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)