An exploratory probe is launched into space on a mission to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. However, a cabal of military forces have covertly converted the probe into a weapon of mass destruction – arming it with a nuclear payload.
When the launch of the craft, code named PILGRIM, goes awry, the probe crashes back on Earth and begins carrying out its mission – eradicating all life. It’s up to Catherine Tennison, an intrepid NASA scientist, and Army Colonel Walt Macken to capture and disarm the probe before it brings about Armageddon.
Thanks to author Terrence Atwood for providing this review copy.
Weighing in at a quick 146 pages, this is a quick and easy read. The plot is promising, and the tension starts fairly quickly, when there is a failure during the launch. There is back stabbing, politics, and a murderous probe named PILGRIM, that immediately starts performing its mission as planned–except it didn’t land on the new planet as expected. PILGRIM landed back on Earth, and cannot be stopped.
There are portions of awkward dialogue plus some bad punctuation (most glaring is the use of capital letters and exclamation points to force home the point that this is WILD STUFF HAPPENING HERE!!). I also had to suspend my beliefs for a bit at times, that the military would acquiese to the demands of a NASA scientist (character Catherine Tennison). There are also a few too many narrow escapes by Tennison and her companion Colonel Walt Macken, to make things ring true.
However, I did enjoy the science and implications of the story itself, even if the writing could have been a little smoother. The images of the rogue probe rampaging across bucolic areas were done well, and the juxtaposition of nature and technology was appropriately jarring. The possibility of the military doing something like this isn’t that far fetched, and the conspiracy theorists would love this book. I’m sure.
I think the plot would make a good science fiction film. As I was reading, I could picture the action in my head. That alone means Atwood did his job: making the reader visualize and become one with the story.
The author had some good ideas–with a little more character development and better editing, PILGRIM would be a 5 star read. I’ll give it 3 and a half. Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UC7NRJM” locale=”US” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].