“The Phoenix Descent” eBook was published in 2016 (March) and was written by Chuck Grossart (http://www.chuckgrossart.com). This is Mr. Grossart’s second novel.
I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This Science /fiction novel is set in the near future.
The US has launched a manned mission to Mars. The three astronauts encounter a strange event that causes the AI running the mission to abort and head back to Earth. As they approach Earth, they are unable to raise anyone by radio. They are further dismayed by the lack of lights from any location on the planet. They do catch a glimpse of an odd circular fire in centra North America and decide to use their lander to investigate.
After the Mars mission was launched, a biological disaster occurred. An infection spread, wiping away most human and animal life on the land masses. Not only killing them, but transforming their bodies into spore-releasing creatures called the Riy. The Riy have only one purpose, find life and convert it to Riy.
Only a few humans survive, reverting to hunter-gatherer existence. Most are spread in small tribes across the northern and southern most areas of the planet, those places where the Riy have a harder time surviving.
There are a few humans who have survived the apocalypse in a more civilized style, living at a secret base in Canada named Phoenix. When the astronauts land, they first encounter some of the tribe members, and are able to become friends. They learn that it has been almost 200 years since their mission was launched. The astronauts learn that the ‘event’ they encountered had somehow sent them forward in time.
It is not long before the astronauts and tribe members are all confronted by troops from Phoenix. Phoenix represents itself as the savior of the human race, but as the astronauts learn more they begin to question the motives behind Phoenix. It does not take them long to confirm that much has been hidden from them. They are then challenged as to how they can both escape the clutches of Phoenix and save their new friends.
I spent about 6.5 hours reading this 370 page Post Apocalypse Science Fiction novel. It was an interesting read and there were few lulls in the action. For the most part I liked the plot. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.
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