“Man should not just sit idly by hoping the fate of dinosaurs does not befall him,” thought Jean Philipe. At the beginning of Goodbye Milky Way, the world is going to end in the near future unless some drastic measures are taken by the few who know about its impending doom. With little time and few resources available, a group of scientists decide that they are going to make the best effort they can to save Earth and its inhabitants.
Author Dan Makaon holds degrees in science and systems management. He has worked for the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of captain. His knowledge of the military and his love of science fiction are evident in Goodbye Milky Way, his first novel.
Makaon pays great attention to technical details throughout the novel. His characters explain the plausibility and validity of the many technical and scientific ideas in the book. While this works well throughout most of the book, there are occasional passages where it seems his characters are talking to the reader rather than to each other. The cast of characters in the book work well together, and Makaon gives them enough background and personality to engage the reader. However, some of the minor characters seem like little more than plot devices to instigate action.
One such character is a terrorist who wants to foil one of the integral parts of the plan to save the planet. This is how Barry, one of the characters, justifies his role in a terrorist plot: “[He] was convinced that mankind must not try to escape the will of God. He knew he…[was] doing God’s will by preventing man from leaving Earth…His path to martyrdom was set, and he would not be deterred.” His reason for appearing in the story is as part of a bigger problem that faces the scientists’ mission to save the Earth. However, his particular role is very small, and we only get to see him as a flat character whose personality is based on religious fanaticism.
Makaon has created a plot full of suspense and urgency. Each chapter advances the reader a little closer to the end, and the chapter headings provide a glimpse as to how much longer humankind has left to live.
This book is recommended for readers who enjoy science fiction and military fiction. There is some violence and sexual content, so it may not be suitable for younger readers.
While the protagonists in Goodbye Milky Way do not “sit idly by,” waiting for their doom, there is no guarantee that they will make it out alive.
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