Death Mission

Fiction - Science Fiction
268 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Transport: Death Mission is a hard science fiction novel written by Phillip P. Peterson. Russell Harris was surprised when the death row guard ordered him to put his hands through the hatch in the door. His clemency appeal had been rejected, and he knew of no visitors who would be coming to see him before the date set for his execution. The former soldier was surprised to see Colonel Morrow, under whom he had served in the military, in the visitor's room -- only now he was a general, and he came with an offer of clemency. Harris could volunteer to become one of ten death row inmates who would be assisting the government in a secret, highly dangerous set of missions. Each of them would undertake ten of those missions. If they survived, they would be granted amnesty. If they refused a mission or tried to escape, they would be summarily executed. Harris figured he had nothing to lose by agreeing to the offer, but he had no idea just how dangerous those missions were. He soon found out.

Phillip P. Peterson's hard science fiction novel, Transport: Death Mission, is an impressive blend of high-tech science fiction and psychological thriller. I became instantly absorbed in the story and could feel the tension and fear of the participants in the program as they awaited their turns in the transporter. Peterson's tale reminded me of the classic hard science fiction novels I fell in love with as a teen, and I enjoyed every minute of this well-written and exciting novel. Harris, the inmates and the officials overseeing the missions are all finely rendered characters and watching as they interacted was an entertaining and exhilarating experience. I’m looking forward to Books 2 and 3 in Peterson’s Transport series. Transport: Death Mission is most highly recommended.

Lit Amri

“Enjoy your few days of freedom. It will get unpleasant soon enough. Your first transport will take place in four weeks. Possibly straight to hell.” In Transport: Death Mission by Phillip P. Peterson, a group of death row inmates is assigned to a dangerous military mission. If they survive, amnesty will be granted. A few months before the mission, a strange, alien object was found at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of California, which appears to be a transportation device. It takes its subjects to similar spheres in other solar systems. The job of the assigned group is to find out where those destinations are exactly by letting themselves be teleported.

Every element in the plot, from the political situations, the radical change to laws regarding punishments for criminals, the possibility of the existence of alien tech, and the way the government decides how and who will be ‘volunteer’ subjects is plausible. A chance to study alien planets or solar systems, much less mastering the use of an alien tech, is a priceless scientific breakthrough for any country. The mystery about the transportation device and figuring out the destinations that it leads to make the story intriguing. The convicts have no choice because accepting or rejecting the mission leads to a same conclusion; the price of their lives. Their internal conflicts about their mission are relatable and give depth to the plot. It’s a good read.

Patricia Reding

Death row prisoner Russell Harris awakens to a guard’s orders, only to be hurried away for a meeting with Colonel Morrow, under whom he’d earlier served, in Transport: Death Mission by Phillip P. Peterson. A former military honor medal winner, Harris’s fortunes changed when he, like every other person convicted of a murder or manslaughter regardless of the circumstances, found himself on death row — and Harris was running out of time before his execution. Harris is presented with an opportunity: accept a position in a fact finding and reconnaissance mission, the details of which are forbidden him at the outset, or meet his end in a few days’ time. With mere minutes to decide, Harris takes the offer. Shortly thereafter, he is transported to a secret station where his training begins. There he meets his nine other comrades, including Ellen, to whom he takes a liking, and he learns the details of the mission. With the use of a transport machine discovered at the bottom of the ocean, he and the other recruits will visit various destinations throughout space. Once done, they will be granted amnesty, if they survive. With that, the adventure goes forward in earnest.

Phillip P. Peterson presents a true science fiction tale in Transport. His real life experiences as an engineer and satellite program manager allowed him to add credibility to the tale. After setting up a world in which the reader can believe that ten recruits could be found who would agree to the offer presented to them, Peterson provides the recruits’ backgrounds, allowing readers the opportunity to identify with them. While not deep, his characters and their relationships are believable. Before long, readers find themselves rooting for their success. Peterson completes the tale with an ending that illustrates the significance of allowing powerful people access to great technology — with results one could not anticipate. This is a tale for the true fan of traditional science fiction!

Charles Remington

Russell Harris is on Death Row, shortly to be executed, but a visit from a previous commanding officer from his days in the military presents him with an opportunity to join a top secret, but highly dangerous government program which could win him a pardon. Transport: Death Mission by Phillip P. Peterson describes how, having nothing to lose, he joins nine other Death Row convicts out in the Nevada desert, where they are trained to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the galaxy, using an advanced alien transportation device which has been recovered from deep in the ocean by the US Navy.

Their objective is to make a trip using the device, photograph and record their destinations in order to identify the points in the galaxy to which they have been transported, and, if at all possible, make contact with the civilization which has produced the astounding machine. There is no way though to predict where the the ten convict ‘volunteers’ are likely to arrive, and by the time several of them, as a result of their journey, have died gruesome deaths, Russell is beginning to think his last-minute reprieve was not a way out at all but simply a different way of getting himself killed. There is no escape however - each volunteer has to make ten trips, and as their numbers dwindle it becomes a simple question of who will be next to die.

Phillip P. Peterson is a master storyteller and Transport: Death Mission is classic sci-fi. The gritty narrative is taut with few wasted words, the plot peopled with well-rounded believable characters. Tension builds relentlessly as each member of the team takes their turn and we wait to discover if they survived, and if they did, what they have encountered on their journey. There is some swearing, but no more than one would expect with ten Death Row prisoners at the centre of the plot. All in all, Transport: Death Mission is top class science fiction, written by an accomplished author who has a clear understanding of the science facts behind his story. If you are a fan of the genre, buy this book - you will not be disappointed.

Tshombye K. Ware

Transport: Death Mission by Phillip P. Peterson is a story of discovery, in which an alien aircraft used for transportation is located. A group of inmates agreed to become guinea pigs for a out of space experiment, traveling in an alien craft. After the death of one of the volunteers, paranoia surges as the remaining inmates seek to uncover the mysterious alien transporting device.

The story is engaging from the start. The author has definitely spent some time honing his craft. You can tell by the descriptive phrases and realistic dialogue. The scenes seem almost movie-like. This made the reading easy and fun. I could visualize the interactions and the mossy green carpet ground. A tree with leathery skin is embedded within my mind. I enjoy such fine writing. I could actually picture this book as being a movie on the sci-fi channel.

The story is thoroughly engaging and will hook the reader's attention with a satisfying bait of curiosity. I was trying to picture the headless creatures and somehow my mind conjured up an ideal image, thanks to the author's writing. Fans of sci-fi will be thrilled with this one. It's a page turning read that will transport you through the gateway of suspense and mystery. We often wonder what lies beyond the confines of planet Earth. This book will take you outside reality into a place of enjoyable fantasy.