In 2037, a massive solar storm temporarily destroys the Earth's electronic infrastructure. In the aftermath, it's discovered that in less than four years there will be a more catastrophic sunstorm and, if measures aren't taken, it will destroy all life on Earth. Worse yet, the sunstorm has been precipitated by the Firstborn, a race of enigmatic extraterrestrials, for the sole purpose of annihilating the planet.

A gripping tale of humanity uniting, this book moves quickly across space and time, always focusing on the task at hand. The heroes of this tale are engineers, settlers on the moon and on Mars and, ultimately, all of humanity. The technology is solid, the science passes muster with the layperson, and while there are many characters, each is distinct.

Despite the looming-disaster plotline, this is still a tale of great hope and optimism and is highly recommended. (Mar., 335 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs