4 out of 4 stars
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An irrational response to a minor error has resulted in a self-sustaining cascading debris field throughout the earth’s orbit, destroying all satellites. The International Space Station (ISS) has exploded, global telecommunication systems have been impaired, and countries can barely handle the falling space debris. Tamarind Chase, Flax Venture, Almond Brighten, and Dr. Kohlrabi Trust are best friends and graduates of the prestigious Pan-National Leadership Institute (PNLI). Kohlrabi dies in the ensuing chaos as he and other scientists from fourteen nations are stuck on the moon in an extraterrestrial research base. Tamarind feels responsible for Kohlrabi’s death and has trouble dealing with it. He leaves DroneTech, a company that he co-owns with Flax and Almond, and decides on a new path.
Tamarind later founded Dark Matter Venture, which focused on space clean-up and eventual asteroid mining. He came up with a revolutionary solution to clear up the debris in orbit, give way for new satellites, and help restore global communications. With the world watching, he launches a powerful laser into space to vaporize the debris. Skeptics notice the size of his rocket ship and question its contents. Tamarind downplays their concerns as conspiracy theories. Things move as planned, and all goes well. However, everything changes when a seemingly natural object, moving at an unnatural speed, is detected. Calculations generate more confusion and questions, and time is suddenly severely limited. What is this object? What is its implication for the human race? Most importantly, how does all this connect to Tamarind?
Mark D. Owen seamlessly introduces each character and exquisitely describes their distinct personalities and physical attributes. They each develop as the story progresses, and each chapter reveals new information on their roles and backgrounds. The author uses current global situations and technological advancements to bring out a world of advanced engineering, science, and extraterrestrial explorations. These accurate depictions enable one to visualize and experience every scene and setting, including the awe and stress of space exploration, making Impact a fascinating and curious read. There are also elements of mystery, secrets, and conspiracy theories. These keep the reader constantly yearning for more and glued to the pages.
My favorite aspect of the read is the names of the Pan-National Leadership Institute graduates, like Tamarind and Flax. Their names are a combination of a plant and an action word, adding to the mystery of the institute. I equally love the realistic and accurate depictions of timelines, for instance, the years it took to clean up the debris or the amount of time needed to restore communication systems. There are no outrageous exaggerations, and everything seems plausible. The book is action-packed right from the introduction, and the twists, suspense, and mysteries begin in the first chapter, carrying on to the last.
There is nothing to dislike about the book; I did not find any grammatical or spelling errors, evidence of its exceptional editing. The language employed is intelligible, free of profanities, and every scientific phenomenon, event, or concept is satisfactorily explained. The book slightly references Christianity through Flax’s belief in God’s supreme power. Impact is an ingenious book that showcases extraordinary human capabilities and groundbreaking research. It also includes some romance and love triangles that add to the tension and intrigue of the story. The book concludes with revelations that leave more questions and a craving for the next book in the sequel. I confidently give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend Impact to readers looking for a thought-provoking and mind-bending science fiction novel that will entertain, educate, and leave you amazed by human ingenuity and the question of extraterrestrial life.
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