Cold Cosmos: Book 1 – Last Night on Earth

Cold Cosmos: Book 1 – Last Night on Earth

This novel starts out slowly. In the beginning, it appears to be little more than a Western set in 19th century Colorado on Earth. However, by the end of the second chapter, supernatural elements are hinted at and the third chapter opens with the speculative fiction bona fides. From there, this space opera ramps up with the protag, Idiom Justus Lee, having to learn how to get along with alien species, courtesy of a spacefarer who saved his life on Earth.

As with any good space opera, adventures follow. Understandings, misunderstandings, misread situations, and betrayal, not to mention a good bit of humor, ensue. Here, Idiom serves as the puny human conscience for a group of aliens who don’t always like each other and are often at odds about how to get things done. Some scenes brought to mind the Cowboys & Aliens graphic novels. Other scenes evoked memories of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy comics—a mishmash of individuals, each with their own agenda, thrown together for a common cause.

There are also places where the aliens here become anthropomorphic and a little too familiar with 21st century human ways. To assume that aliens would, of course, be heterosexual and prize the same showing of war wounds to impress the opposite sex (as if aliens would also only have two sexes) that humans do was a bit of a stretch.

As an e-book, the text occasionally suffered from errors which, hopefully, will be cleaned up in future revisions.

None of these faults are significant enough to seriously detract from this being exactly what a good space opera should be—a fun romp in a non-Earth environment. At the end of the wild ride, it’s clear that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Idiom.

At beginning of the book, an author’s note states this goal: “to entertain you with action, humor, drama and all the elements that make for great space opera style science fiction.”

This book succeeds at that goal and is the kind of read that not only satisfies those who enjoy space opera but also leaves the reader wanting more.

A version of this review appears on the Liminal Fiction website.

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