ACFW Bookclub Review of March Book: Alpha Redemption
In March, the ACFW Bookclub will read Alpha Redemption by P.A. Baines. Join now to read this book with Nora St. Laurent and other bookclub members.
Title: Alpha Redemption
Author: P.A. Baines
Publisher: Splashdown Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
When the ACFW Book Club voted Alpha Redemption as its March 2011 selection, I stepped out of my comfort zone to read it, even though I normally don’t read science fiction. And I’m glad I did. I’m thankful for the book club experience that introduces me to new authors and stretches me to read genres I normally wouldn’t.
Alpha Redemption has the feel of two movies combined: 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Each chapter begins by noting Elapsed Mission Time on Earth and Relative Time on the comet, which helps the reader keep track of the mission’s duration. Then as the ship moves to light speed, Astronaut Brett Denton enters a sleep chamber, lies in yellow goo, and sleeps as the ship travels to its destination. Brett, 45, is a man who has lost everything and everyone that would keep him tied to planet Earth, an advantage for the mission.
Unlike the movie 2001, where the ship takes over, this ship, named Jay, wants to learn as much as it can about humans: their emotions, sayings, relationships, and God. I enjoyed Jay and Brett’s banter, like when Brett struggles to figure out ways to explain things to Jay as the computer asks questions:
“Humans are very interesting … you believe it’s your fault they died; so if you had stayed … you think they would be alive?
“God knows—maybe—yes!” Brett snapped.
“If God knows, why don’t you ask Him?
“It’s just an expression, Jay. There is no God! Look, I don’t want to talk about this, alright?
“Certainly, Brett. Although, I did have some questions about Jesus. I read the Bible. He is very interesting to me.
“No God; No Jesus. They don’t exist. Just drop it.”
Baines pens a fascinating, heart-felt, sci–fi story that follows a man who’s lost everything he loves as he embarks on a new mission.
Jay forces Brett to think about things he hasn’t thought about in years. And the last thing Brett wants to think about is God, someone he can’t count on. I enjoyed Jay and Brett’s talks about God and being human—which made me think about deeper things. Each chapter is written in the present, and then flips to the past as Brett reflects on his journey to become the most unlikely astronaut. This technique adds depth to Brett and gives readers insight into him as he answers Jay’s questions.
Baines pens a fascinating, heart-felt, sci–fi story that follows a man who’s lost everything he loves as he embarks on a new mission with no guarantees of returning to earth ... all for the sake of science and finding other life forms. To Brett’s surprise, he gets more than he bargains for—and I did too. This is a fun and enjoyable read with many twists and turns. Baines surprises me right up to the last page, and I like that. You will, too!
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