Noumenon, Book #3
By Marina J. Lostetter
ISBN # 9780062895721
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
The mind-expanding journey that began with Noumenon and Noumenon Infinity continues in this wondrous mosaic tale of deep space exploration, adventure, and humanity that blends the awe, science, and speculative imagination of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler.
Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, I.C.C. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy’s halls–someone that isn’t human.
This planet, Noumenon–created by the megastructure known as the Web–is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded by unusual meteors. Crystal trees abruptly and violently arise from its bedrock. Its solar system is surrounded by a frightening space-time anomaly. So where did these visitors come from? What do they want? And do the people of Earth, whose ancestors launched Convoy Seven, know they are here?
I.C.C. reaches out to the descendants of its convoy crew to help decipher this primordial riddle. Noumenon was created and seeded by ancient aliens, and clearly their plans for it are unfinished. Together, the AI, the new lifeforms who have awakened it, and the humans will embark on an epic adventure of discovery billions of years in the making.
The mission that started more than a hundred thousand years ago in the first installment of the Noumenon series, comes to an end with Noumenon Ultra. After the events in Noumenon Infinity that explained the forward time travel of the Convoy Twelve and meeting the new evolved humans, a small group of humans travel to the new planet Noumenon that was created by the first Megastructure completed. There in Noumenon are the remnants of the Noumenon Convoy that helped humans complete the megastructures many years ago, and now is the home of I.C.C. the A.I. that kept all the humans safe through their travels.
During the thousands of years that passed since the first megastructure was activated and I.C.C. was set to rest on the planet Noumenon, the new humans, homo-draconem and homo-kubernetes, have activated many more of them. But during some of that time, creatures started to populate Noumenon and awoken I.C.C. again. The small convoy with Dr. Vanhi Kapoor, the Tan family, and Jamal Kaeden the Progentor and some of his followers arrive at the planet at the same time as a new Megastructure is activated and everything stops working. The universe is broken.
Now a new story awaits everyone as they try to understand what is happening in the universe. Are the megastructures evil as some predicted? Why are some planets shielded away and unable to communicate with? And who are the mysterious creatures in Noumenon interaction with I.C.C.?
I love the Noumenon series, the story and the concept were a joy to read and I liked to continue the adventures of its characters across time.
Like the previous books, not all the characters make it to the end as time passes by very fast and normal human lives are short and bright. I did like the characters. We meet Vanhi, Jamal and Hope Tan again and new evolved humans with great names. I liked how the storylines move around these characters and tie the loose ends, yet it showed us that to be an immortal it is a gift and curse at the same time.
Iron Orchid A.K.A the scent of moth orchids followed by the sensation of lightly rusted iron under calloused fingertips.
Sunlight Hammer A.K.A. the warmth of Earth sunlight on a humid day in a heavy swamp accompanied by the percussion of a hammer hitting slate.
We finally understand the meaning of the Megastructures in space and who created them. The mystery of the universe and what may be the vast corners of it, most of all, I liked that this book shows that even greater intelligence can make mistakes, big mistakes.
If you are a new reader to this series, I recommend reading the previous installments, it would make it easier to understand why things are happening. For an outsider, the story might look long and difficult to follow, but if you give it a chance it becomes a great experience that touches on points of human society and emotions. If you like this genre, I recommend you stick with it until the end. It was great.
One of the main reasons that I liked this series was that it gave me the ability to experience this possible future. To read and imagine a possible future for us humans such as to travel across the stars, see how far we can evolve and fall, and make contact with other beings in the universe. Human life is short, it might look long to us, but compared to the progress and change on a planet, it’s a blink of an eye. But at least with this story, I can experience a possibility of the future in the lifetime that I have.
I really like space opera stories, and Noumenon Ultra did not disappoint me.
If you are a fan of Marina J. Lostetter or their work, then I recommend the Noumenon series. A simple reconnaissance mission of a strange artifact in a faraway planet turns into an invitation for an adventure to understand the universe and its inhabitants that expand across the millennia.