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Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
The Terra Debacle by Marcha Fox will appeal to readers who like a hefty dose of science with their science fiction. A UFO has crash-landed in Utah in 1978, and one of its occupants is a sentient plant named Thyron. A NASA researcher, Gabe Greenley, befriends the sentient plant as he studies it to determine if it can see, think, feel, and talk as a human can. Finally deciding that it can, Greenley telepathically communicates with Thyron and eventually empathizes with the plant in its desire to not be stuck in Area 51 in Nevada forever, and to return to its home planet, Sapphira. At risk to his own life, Greenley - with the help of a sentient, snarky extraterrestrial robot - works to try to help Thyron escape. But then, Thyron is torn—does he want to return to Sapphira, or does he want to stay on Earth with his beloved new friend, Gabe?
I liked the idea behind The Terra Debacle by Marcha Fox: a science fiction novel that actually has some science in it, albeit a lot, and has a unique plot which is a refreshing alternative to the endlessly rehashed plots in other sci-fi novels about space battles and star ships. But be aware—the science in this novel is real. There are a lot of five-, six-, and seven-syllable words here. The Terra Debacle will appeal to the sort of reader who can comprehend language such as, for example, “ethidium bromide”, “p-hydroxybenzoic acid”, “electrophoresis”, and “multi-dimensional photonic crystal morphometry”. An actual background in science and/or engineering might be helpful in reading The Terra Debacle.