Aliens are here on Earth along with some long dead civilizations’ relics to make our lives much more interesting.
|Paul McAuley in 2015|
The title of this book makes it sound like something awful is about to enter from a portal leading to some hellish place. That isn’t exactly what Something Coming Through is about, so don’t fret, dear readers, there are no demons or hellspawn involved. There aren’t even any properly evil aliens.
Chloe Millar lives in London, where she works for Disruption Theory, a kind of investigative startup that tries to find where and what alien influences are about to peak out from under the woodwork. You see, more than a decade ago, a crazy terrorist set off a nuke in the middle of London, killing Chloe’s mother, alongside thousands of others.
Immediately after this event, mysterious aliens called the Jackaroo (which, by the way, is a terrible name for aliens) arrive on Earth and offers humanity fifteen new worlds that they can freely settle upon. Why thought up of the idea to name a race of hyper advanced aliens after a shithouse Japanese SUV?
Anyway, the story begins when Chloe investigates a new breakout of alien influence attended by Londoners. She finds some clues that there is indeed something strongly affecting certain people, a young teenage orphan and his little sister.
Meanwhile, on an alien planet named Mangala, Vic Gayle and his partner are pursuing Irish mobsters who have gotten in on the construction business for murder. Some strange happenings have pursuaded Vic that the spree of mob killings has to stop and their only clue is the survivor of an ambush next to an interplanetary shuttle. Both these threads come to a semi-dramatic head and conclusion.
Now, aside from the silly name for the aliens, this book is quite an involving read. We’re kind of thrown into the deep end at first, not quite understanding what’s happening in the story. However, it does clarify and build the world (or worlds, in this case) very successfully throughout the chapters ahead. The two major storylines are also slightly nonaligned in time, so it’ obvious that one precedes the other, though they mingle together well.
The characters themselves aren’t all that special. Chloe and the kids she’s chasing after are the special chosen heroes. The aliens are strange and mysterious (as they should be), and the secondary characters are disposable. Very disposable. If you’re going to read a book for character development, this isn’t the title for you. It’s about the story and the adventure, which is quite engrossing.
Despite sounding for all the world like a portal to hell is about to open, this book is far more sensible than that. It deals with aliens, technologies and the dangers of unfettered greed and curiosity. It’s a good, solid standalone novel, which means I don’t have to keep bothering you all with reviews about sequels. Happy reading.
A good interstellar type adventure with strange alien ghosts.
Read this if you…
Enjoy aliens worlds.
Skip this if you…
Are looking for fantasy type demon hunting.