Title: Axiom’s End
Author: Lindsay Ellis
Series: Noumena #1
Dates Read: September 19 to September 28, 2020
Edition Read: Hardcover
Blurb: Truth is a human right.
It’s fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn’t spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government—and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father’s leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him—until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up, and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.
Realizing the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can, and finds that the best way for her to uncover the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. Their otherworldly connection will change everything she thought she knew about being human—and could unleash a force more sinister than she ever imagined.
First off, before I say much about this book, I have to acknowledge that I am coming from a place with a huge bias. I have been a big fan of Lindsay Ellis for many, many years – her video essays on YouTube are outstanding and well worth the watch. Since I also follow her on social media, I’ve watched and waited for this book to come out with a whole lot of excitement. This was going to be something completely different coming from her and I couldn’t wait.
I was definitely not disappointed.
For a “first contact” story, it felt very, very real. This is how humans would respond to an extraterrestrial presence on our planet. Everything from the fear to the wonder to the government conspiracies and cover-ups . . . yeah, we would handle it poorly, let’s be honest. I really enjoyed the world building in this book, even though it is technically our world. It is a very different alternate history but one that made a lot of logical sense.
Our main character, Cora, is a very interesting one. You can’t help but feel for her – she is being used by pretty much everyone she meets in the novel, from her father to the government and finally by Ampersand, our extraterrestrial friend. It’s definitely a challenge to be on the run from government agents to finally becoming something of an ambassador and translator for an entire alien race. She and Ampersand form an alliance that slowly turns to friendship and then to something more. Not a romance, per se, or at least I didn’t see it that way, but a deeper connection. It’s hard to really have a romance between two species that are so completely different but it is a very strong bond and very well done. Didn’t feel weird, except in a good way.
Now let’s talk about our aliens. They are so incredibly foreign and wonderful. Their physiology, their psychology, everything felt so new and fresh. Very captivating. Ampersand is at times very threatening and scary, but also gentle with Cora in trying to understand her world. They have very different ways of understanding and seeing things around them, so trying to find common ground was not easy. Both of them needed to be able to do so though, for survival if nothing else, but also because of their need for knowledge and their growing relationship. Not all of his kind are nice though and the bad ones are truly terrifying. But they are not the only dangers in this book. It is truly a tale where you don’t know for sure who to trust.
This book was a fun, quirky read that also asks a lot of deep questions. A must read for any sci-fi fan.
GoodReads rating: 5 stars
Categories: Books I've Read