HarperCollins Eos, Mar 2001, 25.00, 432 pp.
In 2204, an exploratory mission to the planet Maieva III abruptly ends in tragedy with several of the crew killed. An innocent looking local redbird in masses had systematically attacked, killed, died, and retreated only to start the cycle over with new military like vigor. Some of the human team manages to escape leaving behind things like their lander. The Academy of Science and Technology places the planet off limits.
Over two decades later, the Academy of Science and Technology reconsiders its decision when evidence surfaces that a bloated gas giant will soon destroy Maieva III. A new team arrives to document the last days of the planet. Better prepared, the new team is led by Priscilla Hutchins and includes a survivor from the unfortunate previous crew, Randall Nightingale. As they begin to uncover perplexing clues about a previous lost civilization, the unthinkable occurs when an earthquake destroys their only escape from the dying planet. Less than three weeks remain with chances of getting off-planet remote and their one wild hope remains items left behind from Nightingale's doomed previous expedition.
DEEPSIX is a powerful science ficiton novel that makes space exploration seem like it is an everyday occureence. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action, and loaded with alien fauna and flora that shows how dangerous the universe is. The characters seem real especially Nightingale who took the hit for the earlier disaster. Readers who want realism and excitement while visiting strange planets will want to read Jack McDevitt's superb look at the Cosmos.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner