2 out of 4 stars
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What can aliens do? What special powers do they possess? Are they able to make decisions about the best interests of others? Do they really care about our well-being?
The scenery in Hawaii was beautiful and the accommodations at the Waimea Garden Resort couldn't have been better, except for the locked doors, of course, but Jason Harper was apprehensive. He had traveled to the meeting with his girlfriend, Sarah, and his two dogs. The four of them were flown to Hawaii on Air Force Two, the Vice President's plane, and had received no answers as to why. Several UN ambassadors were in attendance, as were several members of the world’s community at large. At the banquet the first evening, all were told of their selection to help some seemingly friendly aliens make an important decision. What was involved in that decision?
The thirteen ambassadors, people assigned to help the aliens make their decision, and their supporters, were all housed at the resort. Along with them were stationed various members of the military, not only Americans but also those from other countries. Not only was Sarah to be simply a supporter of Jason and a bystander, which did not sit well with her, but a guard was to accompany her every movement and monitor her actions. Was this the work of a friendly alien civilization willing to help, or was something more sinister involved? The only way to know for sure is to read this novel.
Michael D. Komeshak's descriptions were superb in The Decision. I felt like I was inside the room at the resort, on the island, and inside the suite on the plane. All the places were detailed and very life-like. Sarah seemed to have appropriate feelings about the ongoing problems. I have no doubt that I would have felt the same. I thought it was admirable that General Maddox, Jason’s sponsor, felt guilty for having to keep the secrets of the government. The reader was made aware of how much the General wanted to share. This shows that some officials want to put civilians' welfare above the rights of the state.
I don't like that this book, and most others written on the same subject in America, assumes that if aliens landed on the planet, they would ultimately choose somewhere in the United States. It's hard to believe that one could be so self-serving, but I guess we are talking about someone with knowledge of the States. It is just my own opinion. Other readers may have no problem with this setting. I also didn't like how individual chapters were divided into separate scenes using slashes. I can't put my finger on why I was bothered by this, though. It was most likely a matter of personal preference. Racism, sexism, and religious affiliation were used as criteria for inclusion and exclusion. That made me very uncomfortable.
This novel is recommended to those who are interested in alien visitation. Of course, no guarantees are given, but this is another option for those seeking answers, even from fiction. Children should probably not be allowed to read this by themselves. Although the cover looks mysterious and inviting, there are several instances of profanity, and the alien beings and their actions could be a little frightening for younger readers.
I was bothered enough by the use of the United States as a landing site to remove a star from my rating, but I did not find enough errors to deduct a star. It had been well edited. This was a science fiction novel to make the reader think. There were aliens, mystery, deception, and suspense. All of these things worked together to make this an interesting book. I debated over whether this deserved three stars (I deducted one for the exclusion of people groups). I guess I'm just too easily offended, so I can only give this novel two out of four stars.
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