Nyra Revner appears to have been chosen by an alternative universe to visit a parallel Earth. At tremendous risk, she agrees to the mission, where she finds herself (actually her clone) held prisoner in a second Earth while a third Earth sustains a nuclear attack and its aftermath. Somehow Nyra holds the key to these various worlds’ survival, a fact she doesn’t yet understand.
THE PASSENGER PROJECT: Part One by Adam Thompson is a work of great imagination steeped in the conventions of science-fiction. Readers may find the parallel universes confusing at first, along with the shifts in space and time. Several plots take place at once, but the full story isn’t entirely clear. Then, just when things seem to be falling into place, the narrative ends; this segment of THE PASSENGER PROJECT: Part One is not a complete novel in itself, but rather the beginning of a longer work. At 22,000 words, it manages to just get going nicely when the dreaded “to be continued” ending appears. The characters are established, the story is set…then that’s it, leaving the reader wanting more, but how long will he wait?
The characters are the best thing about THE PASSENGER PROJECT. Nyra in the lead is likeable and courageous, but also vulnerable, and capable of being completely confused in the face of new, world-changing facts defining how exactly the universe works. Nigel, a computer wizard suddenly tasked with saving mankind from nuclear annihilation, is similarly entertaining to watch as he attempts to evacuate the entire city of New York on twenty minutes notice on the basis of sketchy information. After the initial bombardment, a group of super-hero type warriors sweep in to face off against robotic monsters—Sentinels and Specters. While it’s obvious who the heroes are, the villains are not so clear, nor is the role of a mysterious company called LCorp, all of which adds nicely to the intrigue.
The computer language and the establishment of the various worlds and the “rules” governing them gets a little dense at times. The book is set in the future and although much of the landscape is familiar, much is also new, and the physics involved is different and complicated. The characters, however, hold the narrative together nicely. Hopefully there’s more to come, and quickly.
THE PASSENGER PROJECT: Part One is a work of great imagination–a complex story made accessible and entertaining by emphasizing characters over the technology.
~Dave Eisenstark for IndieReader