Adam's Rings


Fiction - Science Fiction
283 Pages
Reviewed on 11/15/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Adam's Rings by Matthew D. White is a spellbinding science fiction story with surreal characteristics that will remind the reader of some of their wildest dreams. The story is about Adam, a young, curious and intelligent high school freshman raised in a rural area of the United States. He is a good student with a big fascination for space travel. He wants one day to travel to the stars, explore the universe and make a name as an astronaut — little does he know that his entire life has been a lie. In fact, he has been grown in a machine at a research station in space, an experiment designed for a powerful mission. An accident awakens him to the reality of who he really is, and he discovers his memories are fake and that only a handful of people know about his existence. He wakes up in a space station orbiting Saturn and must leave the module immediately. What follows is full of suspense and entertainment, but it is nothing anyone could see coming.

I just discovered this author and he surprised me in many ways. Matthew D. White’s novel can make someone who doesn’t love science fiction develop a love for it. The story starts with a powerful premise and a predicament that becomes a crisis for the young protagonist. The reader immediately develops an attachment for the young man because his loneliness is aching and his confusion so strong. The prose is simple and exquisitely beautiful. The vividness in description allows readers clear and beautiful images of the setting, plunging them into the mindscapes of the characters, and the clear and focused capturing of scenes sets this novel apart. Adam's Rings is filled with unusual twists and the plot points are designed to keep the reader moving from one gripping page to the next. This is a page-turner well worth five stars.

Peggy Jo Wipf

The saying “made for this job” is literal with Captain Adam Montgomery. He was genetically triggered to grow while en route to Draco, Saturn’s space station. Adam’s Rings ventures out into vast space and the dangers that astronauts, scientists, and the taxpayers face when setting up home away from Earth. Matthew D. White begins this great adventure with Adam waking up years before his physical body is fully grown and his synthetic memories are complete. Adam must wake up to dislodge a damaged part of his ship, therefore learning the truth about his role on Draco. He comes to terms with his destiny and settles down to complete his education before they expect his first real mission of him. Through his years as the lone occupant of his space ship he learns many valuable lessons. One lesson is that mistakes can be deadly and though they could always create another captain, Adam doesn’t wish to die.  

Matthew D. White gives an amazing amount of detail of space life. His love for space and in-depth study is clear in Adam’s Rings. This novel will teach the average reader much about the planet Saturn. Through genetically triggered gestation, the author offers a solution to the problems of too many years in space and putting astronauts to sleep until they reach their destination. He is very detailed and original in his writing. Science fiction readers will love this novel. I am sure others would love to see this in a movie since it presents a solution for space travel, but also of forming life in space colonies. I loved the ending. It began with an insecure youth and ended with a confident captain doing what was right for the people.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Humans solved the problem of long-distance space travel not by placing astronauts in stasis, but by growing them from blastocytes. Adam is one such astronaut, woken before his time when the Draco station orbiting Saturn is struck by space debris. Although traumatized by the truth of his origins, Adam accepts his mission as station commander. With the first mission scheduled to occur in less than two years, Adam sets about the task of learning everything he needs to fulfil his role from the Draco station's AI. As Adam’s fascination with the gas giant outside leads him to test his capabilities to gather information about it, Adam realizes that Draco station and mission control are keeping even bigger secrets from him.

The hostile environment of space is inescapable in Adam's Rings by Matthew D. White. The concept of being alone on a space station is nerve-wracking enough but when things go wrong, they go very wrong. This is partly what makes the opening of Adam’s Rings so gripping as he struggles to escape from danger with nothing but the Draco AI’s voice to guide him. This makes for a subtler form of tension than the presence of hostile aliens, but I found it far more heart-racing. It’s also satisfying to read about a character encountering danger in the pursuit of scientific exploration. White presents an interesting philosophical concept in terms of how our experiences shape us, and what that means when those memories are contrived. The mental stresses of loneliness and trauma also feature strongly in this novel. Adam’s Rings is a tense, thoughtful work of space opera.