Arc of the Universe

Regan Quinn cut his ties after his wife died, and boarded a colony ship bound for the edges of human space with his young son, Conor. Arc of the Universe opens as an attack destroys the colony fleet, killing Conor as he and his father try to escape. Quinn, his last memory that of severing his own oxygen line, didn’t expect to wake up, and even less so as the prisoner of an alien race that humanity wasn’t aware existed. Captured by the Agantzane, the mysterious race that has enforced their unique sense of balance on a wide swathe of space, Quinn has been injected with a virus that is lethal on contact – and unless he uses it to kill an impressive number of the allied aliens to balance the destroyed colony fleet, he’s warned that the aliens will see human lives as worthless.

Mark Whiteway’s writing provides a thought-provoking series of questions on vengeance, assigning value to the ephemeral, and what constitutes justice, all wrapped in a fast-paced science-fiction story that offers no firm answers and a continually shifting set of perspectives. Quinn, uncertain who he can trust and what he can believe, falls back on the racial staples of deception and manipulation to keep his options open, giving the reader a fascinating contrast with alien social constructs that seem equally reprehensible. Arc of the Universe is woven with mistrust and a series of double-crosses, culminating in a killer plot twist designed to keep the reader salivating for more. I’d definitely recommend this to sci-fi fans out there – between alien psychology, life and death escapes, and lethal politics, there’s something for everyone.

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