Book Review: The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt

Cover of the book The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt
The Long Sunset
by Jack McDevitt
Saga, 2018

This review was first published by Booklist on March 15, 2018.

Priscilla Hutchins is the captain of an interstellar crew sent to explore the origin of a mysterious signal from another planet. But there’s resistance to the mission, as many believe continued interstellar exploration has become too dangerous. Hutch takes off despite opposition and embarks upon a journey that will lead her to discover new artifacts, alien life, and a looming celestial apocalypse. But this isn’t an adventure story; it’s a story focused mostly on people and how we relate to one another. McDevitt (Time Travelers Never Die, 2009) offers a unique take on aliens and how civilizations might arise on other planets, an unexpected and interesting choice in the realm of space-based science fiction. The active conflict of the story is political; unfortunately, McDevitt doesn’t delve as deeply into this aspect of the story as he could. But his unique vision, the way his imagination plays across a galactic stage, and the inherent tension of an unavoidable disaster make up for it. He also introduces important new elements into his ongoing Academy series, making this a worthy read.

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