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Heaven's Shadow Paperback – 15 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (15 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230760317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230760318
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`A compulsive read... Goyer and Cassutt know their craft well, taking cues from classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Solaris.' --4* review in SciFiNow

Book Description

Heaven’s Shadow begins with the discovery of an object of unknown origin headed toward Earth. Speculation as to what it might be runs high, and leads to an international competition to be the first to land on it, to claim both the prestige and whatever other benefits there might be. Thus, two rival teams of astronauts begin a thrilling and dangerous race – but what they find when they reach their goal will turn out to be unlike anything they could have imagined . . . What they have landed on is no asteroid but a spacecraft from a civilization that has travelled tens of thousands of years to reach earth. While the team try to work out what it is they are needed for, more sinister occurrences cause them to wonder if their involvement with this alien race will ead to anything but harm for humanity. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By SteveA (UK) on 7 July 2011
Format: Paperback
It's difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it a little so I will try to keep them to a minimum and not reveal some of the bigger twists that come later in the book. The synopsis gives away one of the main twists, but it comes early in the story so it's not too bad. Heaven's Shadow is written by David Goyer and Michael Cassutt who are both well respected TV and screenplay writers. Goyer worked on all three Blade movies and the TV series, both Nolan Batman movies and he's also a well known comic book fan who has written for DC. I'm less familiar with Cassutt, but from looking at a list of his work I have probably watched episodes of Eerie, Indiana and The Outer Limits that he penned. So the calibre of the writers is not in question and the idea is the sort of high concept that gets Hollywood folk excited. In fact, the movie rights for this trilogy have already been snapped up and optioned already. With all of that in the back of my mind I was expecting something quite remarkable and for the most part I was let down, not by the ideas, but the execution.

I read an advanced reading copy and this version of the book clocks in at a little over 560 pages, so the final version might change a little. However, I think you could cut 200 or more pages from this book and it would not have affected the story at all. In my opinion it would have made it much better, cleaner and sharper. Most of the time the story reads like a screenplay anyway. The chapters are short and punchy. The dialogue is fragmented and is exactly how people speak in real life. The description is light which helps the plot move along at a good pace.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jtingermany on 7 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
It's not phenomenal, but it's very fast-paced! The short chapters and variety of viewpoints (some a bit surprising!) drive the novel along. It's a page turner, but the ideas are intriguing at times -- kind of Neal Stephenson Lite. The characters are fairly well-created, though a few of the emotional issues are glossed over. And, yes, it does owe a lot to some classic sci-fi novels, but it does stand on its own.

Beware, though -- it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger leading into a sequel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2011
Format: Paperback
If you love a space story that has mankind uncovering ancient technology far in advance of our own, then this is going to be a book for you. The concept is stark in its simplicity and to be honest its more about the evolution of mankind's morals than anything else, especially when you realise that in some ways, this ancient space hulk is, in certain respects, a test to see if mankind is worthy.

Add to this some spartanesque prose, a decent pace and a whole host of imaginative scenario's to help the reader imagine the ship in all its Technicolor glory. Whilst this book does have some flaws such as the characters being fairly flat, this does feel fairly movie like in its explanations (which could be because David wrote some crackers such as The Unborn, The Dark Knight etc.) as well as portrayal and as such if you want something that feels part Event Horizon as well as part Solaris, this could well be the book for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Cann on 20 July 2011
Format: Paperback
From screenwriter, film director and comic-book writer David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Ghost Rider) and television producer, screenwriter and author Michael Cassutt (The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone) comes this sci-fi novel: Heaven's Shadow.

In 2016 amateur astrologers spot an object in the sky, literally over the South Pole. An object one hundred kilometres across and heading towards Earth...As the Near Earth Object (NEO) approaches two manned spaceships operated by NASA and the Russian - Indian - Brazilian Coalition race to be the first to land on the unexplored surface. What both crews eventually encounter on this NEO is a discovery that will change humanity forever.

I am happy to report that this is no inferior `Armageddon' rip-off (which has received much derision over the years anyway). This is a fresh take on space exploration and in particular a space race with a difference. The story is told by moving the action back and forth between Mission Control in Houston and Bangalore respectively and from the perspective of the crews of the two spacecraft.

Interspersed along the way giving events a dramatic immediacy are blogs from observers around the world, quotations and excerpts from press conferences, broadcasts and books. This all has the combined effect of making things feel authentic.

The techno jargon rings true as well making the mission more believable. The novel is also packed with mystery, intrigue, suspense and danger. This is your typical perilous mission into the unknown and it is handled well by Goyer and Cassutt.

I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of a `new space race' and the novel makes space exploration sexy again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really liked the family central to the story - the writers did a great job of making an emotional connection with them throughout. Only disappointment was the very open ended ending - thought it could have been wrapped up with just a little more!
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