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Heaven's Shadow

Heaven's Shadow

3.5 21
by David S. Goyer, Michael Cassutt

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From the acclaimed authors of Heaven's War comes a tale that gives "Arthur C. Clarke a run for his money." (Robert J. Sawyer)

An immense object is approaching Earth. Two manned vehicles race through space to land first on the frozen, desolate surface: one launched by NASA, the other representing a Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition.


From the acclaimed authors of Heaven's War comes a tale that gives "Arthur C. Clarke a run for his money." (Robert J. Sawyer)

An immense object is approaching Earth. Two manned vehicles race through space to land first on the frozen, desolate surface: one launched by NASA, the other representing a Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition. Both crews have orders to do whatever it takes to claim it as their own.

But the entity is not simply a rock hurtling through the blackness. It has been sent to Earth for a reason. A vastly more intelligent race is desperately attempting to communicate with our primitive species. And their interstellar courier carries a message that the very core of humanity has responded to since time began…

Help us…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This slick space opera trilogy starter sets up an interesting situation but never quite brings it to life. Rival expeditions from the U.S. and a Russia–India–Brazil coalition land on a planetoid and discover it's actually an ancient interstellar space ship. Astronauts moving through the ship reawaken machines that alter the environment in strange and dangerous ways and resurrect dead people the explorers loved or hated. The characters attempt to decipher the aliens' purpose while struggling to survive in increasingly hostile surroundings. Meanwhile, back on Earth, NASA administrators try to monitor the situation while fending off political meddling and miscommunications. Both authors are experienced scriptwriters who are better at inventing dramatic spectacles than finding fresh things to say about people. Since the book has already been optioned by Warner Bros., readers may want to wait for flashy CGI special effects to balance out the limp characterization. (July)
Library Journal
As an unidentified space object, named Keanu by the popular media, hurtles toward Earth on a near-miss trajectory, rival spaceships—one from the United States and one from a Russian-Indian-Brazilian alliance—race to it, each charged with a mission to explore Keanu's surface and claim it for its own interests. What the astronauts discover is that the object is not a piece of space debris but a cry for help from another civilization. Coauthors Goyer (Batman Begins screenplay) and Cassutt (Missing Man; Red Moon) bring their film and television experience to a fast-paced sf trilogy opener that features a varied cast and an intriguing plot. VERDICT A cinematic style and action-filled plot make this a good choice for readers who enjoy the multivolume space sagas of Kevin J. Anderson and David Drake. [Warner Brothers has acquired film rights to the forthcoming trilogy.—Ed.]
eloquence quotes

“[A] trippy, pulse-pounding tale.”

Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth and New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Strain

“Terrific…With Heaven’s Shadow, Cassutt and Goyer give Arthur C. Clarke a run for his money. Prepare to have your world rocked.”
Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula award–winning author of Triggers
"Heaven's Shadow may be as close as I ever get to an actual ride with NASA. But what a ride!"
Jack McDevitt, author of Firebird
“A faster than the speed of light science fiction that targets readers who prefer action to the nth degree.”
Alternative Worlds

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Heaven's Shadow Series , #1
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.27(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

David S. Goyer is a screenwriter, film director, and comic book writer. His work includes Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as well as the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel.

Michael Cassutt is a television producer, scriptwriter, and author. His TV work includes The Twilight Zone, Max Headroom and Eerie, Indiana. His novels include Missing Man and Red Moon. They both live in Southern California.

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Heaven's Shadow 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Three years ago, the hundred miles wide object was spotted in the Solar System on a course to the sun. As the planetoid comes closer to its journey's end, America and a combine of Russia, India and Brazil send a rival manned spacecraft to land on the projectile. Instead of a rock or gases as expected, the object is an ancient space ship. As the astronauts search the vessel, their entrance turns on machines that have been dormant for eons. Even more eerie is the dead come to life as the earthlings struggle to survive increasingly lethal environs while trying to learn the purpose of the ship and its sentient passengers. On earth NASA officials stay in touch with the crew but grandstanding politicians do what they always do when it comes to effective governing by agencies; they interfere for personal gain. Heaven's Shadow is a faster than the speed of light science fiction that targets readers who prefer action to the nth degree. None of the cast is fully developed, but fans who relish an outer space potentially disaster thriller along the lines of movies like Armageddon will appreciate this exciting tale of first contact. Harriet Klausner
Beauty_in_Ruins More than 1 year ago
This is one of those stories where the whole doesn't live up to sum of its parts. The best parts of the story are in the first third, where the astronauts begin to realize that their rogue asteroid isn't wholly natural, and may in fact be home to the remnants of an alien civilization. The struggle between the duty of exploration, the joy of discovery, and the fear of the unknown is handled very well, with the astronauts coming across as both human and professional. The second third has its moments, particularly in the first reveal of the sentinels and the remnants, but the story just can't sustain matters. As for the final third, it just becomes a jumbled mess that fumbles nearly all of the many of the balls it was juggling. The sheer lack of professionalism at NASA is ludicrous, the almost complete lack-of-reaction to the impact of alien probes is ridiculous, and the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Rapture would be comical, if it wasn't so strained and out-of-place. It also needs to be said that the portrayal of women in this book is atrocious, and that's not an issue I generally take notice of. They're all weepy, emotional, fragile wrecks who are defined as much by their relationships as their reactions . . . and who, it is suggested, are possibly not fit to be astronauts in the first place. Once you realize it, it makes for a very uncomfortable read. All-in-all, a novel that begins well, stumbles in trying to find a direction, and ultimately falls face-first in choosing the wrong direction. There's a sequel to come, but no interest here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel reads like the author just finished a writing class and wanted to write something big. The main concept of a mysterious alien ship in Earth orbit gets sidetracked by a lot of time spent on the private lives of the characters. Back and forth between human problems and alien visit. At times, the main plot with the alien ship seems almost like a distraction from the human interest elements. The behavior and dialog of the characters makes it read like the script for a TV movie. This is just not interesting writing, and the ending is plain bizarre.
TRFeller More than 1 year ago
This is a science fiction novel set in the near future in the tradition of Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the first book in a trilogy and has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a film adaptation. An asteroid sized object enters the solar system and passes close enough to the Earth for both the United States and a coalition consisting of Russia, India, and Brazil to send missions to explore it. It is first called a Near-Earth-Object (NEO) with a number, but the public and press name it “Keanu” after the character Keanu Reeves plays in the Matrix movies. After the astronauts land, they discover that Keanu is really a starship. I found it to be a very entertaining read. The authors are better known as movie and television writers than novelists. Goyer has written Batman Begins, Dark City, Blade, The Dark Knight, and Man of Steel, and Cassutt has written for the TV shows Max Headroom, Stargate, Farscape, and Eerie, Indiana. Consequently, there is more emphasis on action than ideas. There is also one key plot development that is so implausible that I was surprised to see it in a novel, although I would not have been surprised at its inclusion in a movie or television program, for which I have lower standards. The characters seemed rather shallow, as if the writers were expecting actors to flesh them out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried but the story was going no where
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FuzzyDeath More than 1 year ago
Started out ok, but went down hill.
John Tartaglino More than 1 year ago
The final few chapterd seemed to drag. While it was probably my own personsl taste I found myself skimming sections centered around Nasa toward the end. It was entertaining eniugh to have me looking forward to the next installment.
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Jung Kim More than 1 year ago
The story started well but they seemed to take the easy way out to finish.
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Country_Boy9 More than 1 year ago
Heaven's Shadow was a pretty good read. I enjoyed it for the most part. The authors used multiple points of view to relate their story and the fact that they did shift from character to character in short quick chapters kept the story flowing fairly well. It was a quick read and the authors left each chapter as a mini cliffhanger for follow on chapters. It was hard for me to put the book down because I kept wanting to see where the story was going from chapter to chapter. The premise of the book was also well conceived and they drove the story based off of a nice concept for science fiction. However, for me, there were a few small issues I had with the eventual conclusion of the book. Towards the end the story got a little chopped up and didn't flow as well as the first 2/3's of the book. I'm kind of picking small things apart on this one but it just left a little bit to be desired at the end. The book is the first in a series with the follow up "Heaven's War" set to be published July 2012. I hope that as that story picks up it will redeem the small flaws of this book. The way that this story ended however makes it hard to see how this particular cast can or will play a part in the follow up. To the authors credit they did leave their story with a huge cliffhanger and it is hard to guess how they will proceed with their story. Credit to them for leaving me wanting more and I will read their follow up. I just wish some of the subtle nuances of this book could have been addressed a bit better.
Brady Candell More than 1 year ago
This book was atrocious. The plot meandered and fizzled, the characters were one-sided facades, and the attempts at creative embellishments were random and added nothing to the storyline. I'm proud of myself for finishing the book...even though I skipped over dozens of pages of mind-numbing dialogue to accomplish such a herculean task.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zach Obrecht More than 1 year ago
This has to be one the best books i have read. While it is extremely differnet and far fetched, it really gets you thinking about life in space as we know it. To me, it reminds me of the aliens vs. Predators where the humans send a small team in to explore an unknown object , and it ends up being linked to aliens and the fight for individual survival, and your teams survival. So if you are debating weather to buy it or not, get it! Trust me, you wont be wasting your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago