3 out of 4 stars
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First things first, I have to confess that I did not read Oblivion Threshold. Well, I read the book, but all the time I was feeling as if I was watching a fast-paced space-thriller movie. A vicious group of aliens, dubbed Prox, start making a beeline for Earth and wreak havoc in every space colony they encounter in their way. The Admiral of the Colonial Defense Fleet of Earth sends Captain Jeff Bowers in a reconnaissance mission. When Jeff dies attempting to outrun the invading Prox, a group of sentient beings named Ulim restores him and sends him back to earth. The Ulims warn Jeff not to try the same space warp himself, lest he should unravel the very foundation of the Universe. However, that also means losing the Earth's only chance to win the war against Prox. What can Jeff do to save the day?
What I liked most in the book was its brevity. It is wonderful how within such a short span, J. R. Mabry and B.J. West have presented an action-packed, suspenseful story. The pace did not slack for a single moment and kept me engaged till the end.
The concept of space warp is in no way uncommon in space thrillers, but the way it is described in this book was astounding. The readers can actually visualize the entire process through Jeff’s eyes. That consciousness remains unchanged even in the absence of a corporeal body and therefore can be restored was a mesmerizing concept.
Even within the short span, the major characters are portrayed with utmost care. Jeff Bower’s self-imposed reclusion following his past mishaps, Jocelyn’s headstrong and indomitable nature, Emma’s jealousy and straightforwardness put the characters in a realistic light. Although the rest of the characters are two-dimensional, that does not detract from the reading experience.
In addition to the technical details that are prevalent in science fictions, this book reserves space for exploring human emotion. The budding love story between Jeff and Emma and the resultant conflict with Jeff’s residual feelings for Jocelyn was not what I was expecting from a hardcore space thriller. Yet there was love in all its glory in an otherwise professional and utterly formal set-up.
In my opinion, the major setback for the book is the lack of background information. The readers can glean from the story that it takes place sometime in the future when the human race is technologically more advanced and has connected with other sentient beings colonizing the space. However, considering that this is the first book of the saga, the authors could have introduced a little more information on how it all started. The details of the Sol Station, the Colonial Science Corps Academy, and the Colonial Defense Fleet could have been elaborated instead of leaving it for the readers to imagine.
Also, I had trouble comprehending the somewhat abrupt ending. The book ends in a cliffhanger that is good for keeping the anticipation alive. However, I believe some conclusive elements could have made for a better ending.
I would have liked to rate the book 3.5, but since that is not possible, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. With no grammatical or editing issues, I believe it was professionally edited. Readers who like science fictions and space thrillers will thoroughly enjoy the book.
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