Continuing with my male chauvinist attitude of not liking female heroines in science fiction books, I still read this book and even enjoyed it. Now we have two such females, both very capable at what they do and both with definite attitudes that don’t make them the most likable people. Brooke Davis is the Aunt of Maya Davis. Maya is now grown and doing her own thing which is becoming part of the IEF (Interstellar Expeditionary Force). She has been assigned to the New Horizon, the first human ship that will travel to another star system and hopefully make first contact with ecospecies. Why the don’t just call the aliens is beyond me (oh, another book title?). Maya and her Aunt are currently on the outs with each other. Brooke has raised Maya from a small child to her adulthood because her mother Maria, was accidentally killed by a Vril agent attack. Books has recently found out that something is going to happen to the New Horizon when it reaches the new star system. That something could result in the death of Maya and maybe an entire alien civilization.
The New Horizon has taken off for Gliese 581. They hope to meet the Penphins, as strange society that apparently doesn’t believe in harming anyone or anything. With the new hyperdrives on the New Horizon, the trip should take only a couple of months. But, the time period that the New Horizon was to report back to the Solar System has now long passed. The ISC sent an unmanned search craft out looking for the New Horizon and it found nothing. So, the New Horizon is presumed lost. Some where along their hyperdrive trip they must have had a catastrophic accident and either died in hyperspace or dropped out and are now stranded in who knows where. Most believe the craft and all aboard have died.
It’s now six years after the New Horizon left for Gliese 581. Brooke has tried every way she possibly could to get a ship to Gliese 581 to do a personal search for her niece, but everything she tried resulted in a major disaster. She wound up going to prison after stealing a starship. She also lost touch with reality and her husband, Professor Kevin Sommerfield. He invented the hyperdrive and knows very well that an accident could have happened along the way. But, he also knows something else. He believes it’s possible that the New Horizon has not yet reached Gliese 581! He tells Brooke his theory about hyperdrive and it’s relation to time travel. No one else knows about this little quirk. He mathematically figures out that the New Horizon could have taken six years to reach Gliese 581 according to his time frame, even though those onboard will only experience the passage of a couple of months. This sets Brooke off again. She has to find a way to Gliese 581 and possibly rescue her niece.
This seems to be a very long book. The first part is kind of a re-hash of the pervious book and then we learn about Maya and what she has done while getting to adulthood. We review Brooke’s past and her involvement with the Vril and everything that has been going on up to now. Then the book kind of bogs down because we have to stay with Brooke while six years pass. Then, finally, Brooke gets to go rescue Maya, maybe! Several things could happen including a huge asteroid directly in the path of the emerging New Horizon. You’re going to have to read the book to find out what happens.