During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.Read more...
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.
Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.
Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.
Equal parts science-fiction and globe-hopping thriller, Joseph Helmreich's The Return will appeal to fans of both, and to anyone who has ever wondered... what s out there?"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
An artfully crafted opening line (If the conspiracy theorists are right and it never happened, then the day it didnt happen began innocently enough) paves the way for an intriguing setup in Helmreichs debut novel of humankinds first encounter with alien intelligence. The coinciding of a lunar eclipse with the winter solstice prompted television coverage that inadvertently captured live video of an alien abduction in California. The victim, washed-up celebrity physicist Dr. Andrew Leland, who had been retained to provide expert commentary on the celestial event, was seen lifted up into the sky by an unseen force emanating from a green structure. Almost seven years later, Leland is found wandering in a desert, but he denies knowing anything about the abduction, claiming that he retired from scientific research and has spent those years working as a farmhand. Brilliant young physicist Shawn Ferris becomes obsessed with learning the truth about what happened to Leland. The plot takes some clever turns, though the ending doesnt quite live up to the beginning, and Helmreichs characters are satisfyingly multidimensional. (Mar.)