Author: Hywel Richard Pinto
Genre: Science Fiction
Publishers: Story Mirror
The closest I have come to read science and fiction together are books by the ‘Robin Cook’ who mixed medicine and thriller for his stories. And I loved his stories. Though in past few years haven’t read him.
I grew up watching television series ‘Star Trek’ with Captain Kirk and Mr Spock. It used to be a much awaited series every week with the crew of the space ship tele-porting from one place to other, fighting aliens and traveling non-stop in space.
It is with these kind of influences playing on my mind, that I started reading the book ‘Europa’ by Hywel Richard Pinto.
The book is very ambitious in its space travel story. Though the unmanned spacecrafts have flown past planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune but as yet no man has traveled and walked on surface on these planets. The story of Europa however sees a crew of astronauts and biologists travel to Europa, the moon of planet Jupiter, in search of earlier mission survivors and collect samples from the surface.
The time that the space ship Europa takes to travel is over one year when most of the crew sleeps in life-sustaining pods. But two of the crew who have been planted by the crooks to do nefarious activities wake up earlier than others to carry out the plan. However surprisingly the captain and his first officer wake up too. Mystery shrouds the strange waking up cycle till the time other crew members wake up six months later. And then the discovery of a crew member’s death creates trouble.
When the crew lands on the moon of Jupiter, they come face to face with not only the previous mission’s survivors but also strange hypnotizing creatures who all have survived in caves of that moon which is surprisingly filled with pure oxygen and has a large water body.
Through various twists and turns the mission is accomplished and the crew returns to earth where the captain of the Europa mission has to answer a lot of questions about deaths of crew members during mission. The crooks meanwhile out of greed become each other’s doom and all ends well.
The book is high on imagination and sees continuous action without losing its grasp on story. The investigative court however seems to have not been given much thought and it ends abruptly. The part of story dedicated to assassins though written well but doesn’t really concern the mission. It is parallel and mentions the mission very marginally.The Indian connection of the assassin and his master was not really required.
The book also has some grammatical errors. Another big mistake on part of publisher may be is that pages 7,8,9,10 and page 66 are repeat pages. The problem this creates is that if you are involved in reading the story and suddenly similar text starts appearing, it breaks not only the rhythm but also confuses the reader for few seconds.
But even with such silly mistakes, the story is a good science fiction with thrill and suspense thrown in. Not a bad read.
Indeed a courageous and good effort by the author.