The Frozen Sky by Jeff Carlson
Finished reading on May 27th, 2016
I had never heard of this book or the writer when someone I’d only met once before handed me this book and said I should read it and give it back to him when I’m done.
The cover caught my attention first because it had Europa on it and I had just mentioned Europa in a presentation half an hour earlier. After the initial reaction of ‘oh, that’s cool’ the thought in my head was that it didn’t look like a book I would pick up if there hadn’t been Europa on the cover.
So obviously, Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has a part to play in this book – there’re teams of people working on Europa after they’ve discovered life there.
Initially I found the plot quite difficult to follow, because of how it begins out (in order not to give any spoilers I’ll be general) – something happens and then you kind of return to the past and after you get to the point with what the book began with, you continue on with the story.
In the book artificial intelligence has quite a big role to play, it’s 22nd century, nanotechnology can heal people etc.
The main problem in the book is the lifeforms – are they intelligent or not and how to prove it one way or another and how people on Earth might benefit from either option. So it kind of goes into ethics.
It’s very much a plot-driven novel, you find out minimal information about the characters, but it didn’t really bother me, as all I really wanted to find out was whether the life there is intelligent or not.
I do think I would have liked to have more details – just in general, because I found only being able to imagine what was going on with the alien life under the ice, bot not what went on with the people, what their landers looked like etc, and I also didn’t imagine any generic people around, so in that sense the book could have been better (or I could have just imagined the details myself – duh!).
So was it even necessary to have everything happen on Europa? It could have been on any icy moon that could have an ocean under the ice – you don’t learn anything more about Europa, the characters never mention having a good view of Jupiter or the other moons or anything (I do get that they’re all really interested in what’s under their feet, but seriously? ) Nothing really wrong though, the smaller gravity was mentioned, but didn’t seem to play much of a part in anything the humans did.
In a way I feel now that it was good that I knew nothing at all about the book and I just read it in a bit over a week, I feel that now anything I read where the setting is Europa, I have high expectations.
It’s not a funny book, it’s not really too dramatic either, not romantic, although there seems to be a couple forming, and the sci-fi aspects are being set in the future and on Europa, a bit more advanced computers,and alien life. I’d classify it as a bit of light reading (light gravitation wise 🙂 ).