Title: From Distant Stars
Author: Sam Peters
Publication date: 19 April 2018
Series: From Darkest Skies #2
Source: Review copy from publisher
Description: Inspector Keon has finally got over the death of his wife Alysha in a terrorist attack five years ago. The illegal AI copy of her - Liss - that he created to help him mourn has vanished, presumed destroyed. His life is back on track. But a deadly shooting in a police-guarded room in a high-security hospital threatens to ruin everything. Who got past the defences? Why did they kill the seemingly unimportant military officer who had been in a coma for weeks? And why did the scanners pick up the deceased man the next day on the other side of the planet, seemingly alive and well?
As Keon digs into the mysteries he begins to realise that the death was connected to a mysterious object, potentially alien, discovered buried in ice under the north pole. Someone has worked out what is hidden there, and what its discovery will mean for mankind. Someone who is willing to kill.
And another player has entered the game. Someone who seems to know more about Keon than is possible.
Someone who might be using Liss's information against him.
Or who might be Alysha, back from the dead.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was keen to see what happened in the sequel. Author Sam Peters didn't disappoint. Keon is the sort of officer who is determined to get to the truth of an incident. In this book, he gradually realises how big the powers he's trying to disagree with and look into are, and then what the significance of the things he's learning might be. It also seems like there's still more to the story of his wife's death than he uncovered in book one. He's wrestling more with the big question of 'where did we come from' and 'what happened to life on earth to push us out to these planets'. It seems like there might be more to things than what everyone has always been told.
In its simplest view, this book is a police procedural in space, with a tight-knit group at the centre. But From Distant Stars has intricate twists and turns, and needs you to be paying attention. I know that when I read the next book in the series, I'll need to come back to this one first to properly refresh my memory!
It's a really exciting book, and I couldn't put it down. If you love science fiction or crime novels, I think you'll really enjoy this book. Overall, I'm giving it 8/10. Thank you Gollancz for the review copy!