Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alpha Redemption by P. A. Baines

The Synopsis:

From despair he fled, through tragedy he lived on, and journeyed to innocence.

His trajectory: the stars. His companion: a computer poised at the brink of sentience.

An unlikely friendship on a prototype spaceship at lightspeed towards Alpha Centauri, and redemption.

When Brett loses everything in a tragic accident, he gladly accepts an invitation to take part in a prototype speed-of-light trip to Alpha Centauri, knowing that he may not survive. His only companion is the ship's on-board computer, Jay. At first he finds Jay an annoyance but, as time passes, the two become friends. With the voyage drawing to a close, Jay develops a sense of self-awareness and a belief in God. When it becomes clear that they cannot both survive the return trip, one of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts:

Alpha Redemption is a slow book. Fortunately, in this case, that's a compliment! There's a bit of tension about two-thirds of the way through, as well as at the end, but for the most part, it's about a guy in a spaceship who hangs out, teaches the computer about emotions, and...

Ah, if I told you what else happens, that'd be a major spoiler. Can't do that, now can I? Let's just say that in the beginning of the book, we know nothing about Brett's backstory--who he is, why he's important, or why he volunteered to take such a dangerous job. But the further along the story progresses, the more backstory we get. And the way the backstory ties in with the main plot is sheer genius.

Another neat thing about Alpha Redemption is how it raises questions about life, God, and even--to me, at least--about artificial intelligence developing emotions and self-awareness (more on that in an upcoming post). It's definitely a book you want to hand to friend and family and say, "Hey, read this--I want to talk about it with someone. What do you think?"

The writing is quite good for a first-time book and the content is family-friendly, which as always, is awesome! Alpha Redemption is a definite must-read for fans of science fiction!

Rating: five stars

Next week (7/18) I'll welcome author P. A. Baines in a Meet the Author interview--and the week after that (7/25), I'll post my thoughts and ideas about artificial intelligence and emotions in science fiction. Also, I'm starting something new--Exploring New Worlds on my FB page, where anyone is welcome to join in as we talk about the featured book of the month.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Splashdown Books in exchange for writing an honest review.*


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