To read my review of the first part in this series, click here: Earth to Centauri
“Earth to Centauri: Alien Hunt” by Kumar L. is a science fiction book that continues the story of Captain Anara, her crew consisting of Ryan and Major Rawat, Manisha and Madhavan, the aliens discovered on the planet HuZryss in the Alpha Centauri star system and the humans, Lucy and Joe and the unborn child they brought home from Alpha Centauri.
The plot of the story goes like this:
Captain Anara and her crew are returning to Earth aboard their spaceship, Antariksh. However, the crew uncodes a cryptic message sent to them which warns Captain Anara of the dispatch of alien mercenaries to Earth. These alien mercenaries carry a weapon with them, a weapon that could possible match the level of destruction that earthly nuclear weapons can unleash. A possibility of interstellar war arises, if Captain Anara makes the wrong choice. She may have only few days to prevent the complete obliteration of the city of Mumbai, if she doesn’t choose wisely.
Her crew and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) engage in an undercover search for the mercenaries in the streets of the megacity, where the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi are in full swing. As they race against time to uncover the plot, a traitor is unmasked, and Anara herself comes under suspicion. Can she save the Mumbaikars, from a fate that is not of their making?
What I liked about this book is that there are many cool sci-fi concepts introduced in this book. For example, the Hyperloop technology, a revolutionary method of moving people and goods across large distances in shorter spans of time. In case you still live in the old dabba-trains that run on the Western Line in Mumbai and are totally unaware about this technology, I invite you to Google it and find out more. Or even better, you could read the book and vicariously experience this technology way before it is introduced in reality.
Also, there is a concept of an underwater city. Who wouldn’t want to live in an underwater city?
The second book in the series is comparatively better than the first, in terms of action involved in the book. This book has an element of jasoosi and covert operations, in relation to the aliens and their agenda, the animosity of NIA and ISC, etc.
What I didn’t like about this book is that the prose got a bit preachy when it came to explaining technical concepts. This would end up forcing the reader to lose focus and get out of the flow of the action in the story. In some places, I did feel some gaping loopholes and unconvincing storytelling. Also, the language of the book got the colloquialisms a bit wrong / mismatched.
I give this book a 3/5 star rating, and recommend it to readers who have read the first part in the series and enjoyed it, as well as readers who like an element of action and emotion in their sci-fi.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in order to share my honest review of the book in exchange for a fee.