Hayden's World

Volume 2 Hayden's World Collection

Fiction - Science Fiction
370 Pages
Reviewed on 02/06/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite

S. D. Falchetti's hard science fiction Hayden's World, Volume 2, (Hayden's World Collection) contains the sixth and seventh stories: Janus 2 and Bernard's Promise. James Hayden is a spaceship builder and a space explorer. His Riggs drive starships are Earth's first near-light-speed starships. Janus is an icy moon that orbits Erebus at the edge of the Oort Cloud. James is exploring the moon when he encounters an alien probe, dubbed Silver Star, which quickly speeds away into space. His experimental Riggs ship, Bernard's Beauty, crashes on the moon. In Janus 2, James and his team return to Janus in the Riggs starship Gossamer Goose. The Silver Star alien probe reappears as the crew prepares to leave the moon. James and his crew barely escape the probe's terrifying and destructive attack. Back on Earth, James and his team prepare a new Riggs starship, Bernard's Promise, for deeper interstellar exploration. The novel Bernard's Promise is riveting and full of unexpected and challenging discoveries. James and his team become Earth's first explorers of the Alpha Centauri star system.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading S.D. Falchetti's novels Janus 2 and Bernard's Promise in Hayden's World, Volume 2. I loved the stories for their memorable characters and highly imaginative futuristic world-building. I liked how the character development unfolds beginning in Janus 2 and continuing in Bernard's Promise. The backstories brought the characters vividly to life. I liked the determination and tenacity with which James Hayden pursues his dream of interstellar exploration. I particularly enjoyed the story of how the AI, Ananke, became a co-inventor of the Riggs starship drive. The fast-paced action and drama of dangerous situations bring out the strengths, skills, and ingenuity of the individual crew members, and their ability to work as a team. The technical details of the Riggs starships and the alien probes were written very well into the action. I particularly liked the thought-provoking questions and experiments about how to communicate with aliens! Janus 2 and Bernard's Promise are terrific stories, with suspense and space adventures to the very end!