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An alien probe from 65,000 light years away splashes down in the Pacific, seeking to solve a cosmic riddle.
A trawler inexplicably vanishes at sea and a body washes up on a deserted beach with a single extra-terrestrial clue that reaches all the way to Area 51.
Colonel Beckman and two of his team are dispatched to unravel the mystery. They board an oceanographic vessel that carries them to one of the most remote places on Earth, where they encounter an elusive alien presence preparing to challenge the dominance of the human race.
And they learn a terrible lesson, that one world cannot have two masters.
Renneberg manages to integrate a massive back story into the main plot almost effortlessly, powering his grand-scale storytelling with meticulous description and relentless pacing. The brilliance of the story, though, is in the way the author develops the overarching storyline with intimate character stories, like those of Beckman and the alien matriarch, Beloved-of-the-Sea.
Discerning sci-fi fans will find this novel, which can be read as a stand-alone, to be immensely satisfying.
Everything a great sci-fi novel should be: visionary, immersive, and thematically profound.
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