2240: RETURN TO PLANET EARTH proved to be a truly rousing action-adventure story set on a post-apocalyptic Earth!
A shipboard emergency forces Pilot Mia Bennet and three coworkers into an escape pod which is jettisoned away from their spaceship immediately before it explodes. The four passengers travel in cryosleep while the AI-monitored pod begins its journey to the Space Station orbiting Earth. But, the pod is drawn off course, and the sleeping astronauts don’t arrive at their destination until almost 25 years later, shocked to find out that they’ve been written off as lost. However, Mia and her friends are not the only ones lost. It seems that during their time in cryosleep, the Earth experienced an apocalyptic event where invisible radiation of an unknown source decimated the human race. Devastated that their families and friends have all been killed, they descend to Earth’s surface and their former base to find out what happened and if there are any survivors anywhere.
2240: RETURN TO PLANET EARTH proved to be a truly rousing action-adventure of a SciFi story set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. I quite enjoyed the plot featuring four Space Force astronauts who are rushed into cryosleep and ejected into deep space in an escape pod after an accident destroys their spaceship and kills the rest of their crew. When the pod is delayed for 25 years in its AI-monitored return to Earth’s space station, the four sleeping survivors miss the apocalyptic event, which results in the elimination of most of humanity back on the home planet. That alone sold me on this book.
The main characters are all young, 20-somethings, and fairly new to their professions at the book’s start. Successful completion of missions before the current action has advanced them to positions of authority and skill, presenting good role models for younger readers. And since the story unfolds from two points-of-view, Mia’s and Blake’s, there is both a male and female perspective to the storytelling, which is nice. The author has included a variety of characters who are confronted with big decisions to make and must then deal with the consequences of those decisions. Each character is revealed to have experienced tragedy in their lives with the loss of family members and friends during the invisible radiation event, which has wiped out 99.99% of the human population. The friends and coworkers display both personal flaws and strengths but stick together to help each other overcome adversity.
I enjoyed the combinations of settings for the action in the book. The story begins in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, goes to the Space Station, returns to Earth, and the emptiness of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, a high-rise smart building, and the surprisingly fresh destination of Venezuela.
Yet, with all its good points, this book still needs a lot of work on language, grammar, and continuity. These three issues were numerous enough to inhibit the story’s flow, and I had to constantly stop and re-read sentences to understand what the author was trying to say (i.e., missing words, the wrong words used, words used improperly, and typos.) Phrases were often repeated over and over again. Action described in one paragraph would be duplicated two paragraphs later. These things took away from what would have been a very good reading experience. However, all of the problems mentioned above are things that an editor could help resolve.
Without a lot of hardcore SciFi tech-talk and featuring a cadre of quite young protagonists, the target audience seems to lean toward YA, teen, and perhaps even upper middle-grades (once the grammar and language issues are corrected.) I urge the author to have this book looked over; I think the end result would be golden. Until that time, I recommend this book with reservations.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.
See my original review on Reedsy Discovery!