Doctor Jenner has been invited aboard the mysterious alien ship that has been floating over New York's shore. The reason is unknown and no one has ever seen the elusive alien race as yet. In fact no one has ever spoken to them other than through computers. Why have they chosen Jenner, and why are they really here?
Meanwhile Jenner's three children have their own individual beliefs and experiences surrounding the alien race. It is the two generations of Jenner who will become part of the forefront of change. They will be instrumental to alien-human relations, bring forth civilization changing information and change the course of human life.
Although rather short, the story is deep and the world building intense. The reader is immersed in a world where aliens are part of daily life, alien drugs are a problem for the select few of us who have extreme reactions to them and pit mother against son in the battle between peaceful existence or violent retaliation.
This story would have done well to explore the aliens' arrival the months before Dr Jenner's experiences - and could have used a more broad span of experiences (mainly the outside world which we lose sight of half way through the book). The lack of exploration of societal and cultural changes due to the alien visitors was largely ignored.
The ending was abrupt with very little attention paid to how the revelation at the end would change human perception of self and the religious order of the world. On top of it all - the aliens merely disappear into space, after gifting us the most obscene gift in history.
This being said, the book kept me wondering what was really going on and questioning the motives of the aliens. I found myself fascinated by the new technology that the aliens brought with them and the fantatic things that a utopian civilization could do with it. It also followed my own beliefs that a peaceful culture who came to earth would be appalled by the poverty, cruelty and dissociation for which humans are so notorious.
A great read, a quick read but worth it. I can't wait to check out the author's other works for original and well developed reads.