Book review: Wherever seeds may fall

First contact with extraterrestrial life is going to be complicated; if we know it’s coming. In Peter Cawdron’s Wherever seeds may fall, Earth has two months’ advance notice. The countdown starts when a comet begins to behave like a space ship.

Cawdron’s novel shows just how complicated the situation will become if this scenario ever happens in real life. He tells the story from the perspective of experts working for the American government. The problems they face include coordinating an international response, deciding between peace and war, and managing public panic.

I enjoyed Wherever seeds may fall for three reasons.

The characters are likeable. Cawdron also avoids the cliche of writing tragic backstories to make them relatable; so I was very pleased about that.

The story moves forward at a good pace. I always found reason to turn the page to find out what happened next. The ending is not predictable, at all.

This novel seems very well researched. I say “seems” because I know nothing about real life preparations for first contact. To my amateur eye it looked as if Cawdron really knew his stuff and had thought very carefully about the steps that governments might go through.

In the notes at the end, Cawdron thanks his wife for suggesting that ordinary people in Mexico be included in the story. I agree this was a very good idea. I liked how Cawdron wrote up this subplot. It adds a layer of emotion to story, but at the same time it isn’t overly sentimental.

It’s a week since I read Wherever seeds may fall. Seven days later, the one character who really sticks in my mind is Andy the online conspiracy theorist. I really enjoyed how Cawdron got inside the head of such a challenging character.

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