Univ. of Nebraska. Nov. 2023. 308p. ISBN 9781496235213. pap. $21.95. SF
Sheriff David Blunt never expected much to happen in his rural Nebraska community, full of people he had known since he was a boy, and he liked it that way. That all changed when an asteroid hurtling toward Earth turned out to be a gigantic alien corpse that landed on the outskirts of his small town. Two years later, the arrival of this giant has transformed Little Springs into a booming metropolis with a military base, a science lab, tourist attractions, and a doomsday cult. Tensions between locals and “outsiders” are already at a fever pitch when people begin dying under mysterious circumstances. As David’s investigation points toward a connection with the giant, he falls deeper into the secretive world of the government agencies tasked with studying the alien. He is also forced to come to terms with his town’s permanent alteration and confront his own biases against those who are now under his protection. Atmospheric imagery and heartfelt characterization bring Jensen’s (Arca) beautiful and strange world to life.
VERDICT A gripping, fast-paced, genre-bending novel full of heart and wonder. Give this one to fans of Ben H. Winters and Dan Chaon.
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