“Providence” by Max Barry follows the colossal warship by the same name designed to protect humanity from threats of all kinds. It requires only a crew of four to monitor functions and to report progress on social media. A mesmerized world follows every move of these new space reality show stars.
The point of view changes with each chapter, so readers get to know the crew well and see the world and the associated trauma through their eyes. The pace is slow and calculated at first as readers get to know the crew and learn about the ship and related technology. The tension increases when things start to go wrong, horribly wrong. The crew discovers a startling advisory and a horrible truth about that enemy. Those who were used to being revered social media stars must fight an all too terrifying fight.
Barry created a fictional world with instant appeal; it is mysteriously appealing and strangely real. The characters are complex and yet relatable. The aliens are both terrifying and normal at the same time, allowing readers to both love and hate them. I received a review copy of “Providence” from Max Barry and G.P. Putnam’s Sons. I do not typically read books in this genre, but I was attracted by the premise of this book. I found it compelling, interesting, and thought-provoking.