Set 20 years later, this is the sequel to The Explorer, but it is also a standalone novel. A modern and well-equipped mission sets out to find out what happened to the Ishiguro 20 years ago. The scientists and crew think they have planned for every eventuality, but they discover events and situations that they couldn't have anticipated, and are struggling to understand and react to.
As in The Explorer, Smythe avoids overloading the reader with too much technical detail, which makes for a well-paced read. And maybe for this reason, or maybe just because I liked the characters of Tomas and Mira, I enjoyed this book more than the first one. And yes, I will be looking out for the third instalment!
Smythe's writing style is direct and compelling. This combined with the slightly surreal, slightly disturbing tone of the novel makes for an intelligent and compelling read.