Infinite. Jeremy Robinson. 2017.
Jeremy Robinson is best known for his over-the-top action-adventure and kaiju monster novels. In Infinite, he branches successfully into science fiction.
Our protagonist, William Chanokh, been in cryosleep – but with his mind awake – for the last ten years of a long journey. He is a tech-jock, and along with fellow scientists and engineers, he is part of humanity’s last hope of survival. Will and his teammates are on a mission to colonize Kepler 452b, the nearest – relatively – habitable planet to earth.
Unfortunately, there is a snafu: Will is pulled from his cryochamber, murdered by Tom, one of his fellow tech-jocks, and dies. And then comes back to life. And discovers that Tom has assassinated all the remaining crew but one: Will’s secret crush, Capria.
Things deteriorate further when Will realizes that Tom has drastically altered the programming of Galahad, their spaceship, in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. What follows is an almost boyish romp through outer and inner space. There is a sexy and dangerous Artificial Intelligence, cool robot battles, planetary adventures with weird creatures, and virtual reality thrills – all at faster-than-light travel through the universe.
Infinite is more introspective than Robinson’s usual straightforward action stories. He focuses a bit more on character development – which is a welcome plus – and entertains meditations on the nature of existence. Could we all just be a simulation? Just a piece of programming? And what if we are? Will debates the pointlessness of immortality versus the need to find joy in every day. Robinson himself faced some personal issues that altered his own life perspective while writing this book, and they certainly come through in Will’s existential questions.
Action prevails, however, and Infinite is a fun, fast read. Toss in a nice dose of humor – including a nod to Star Trek – some light romance, and of course, all that action, and you get a great summer escape.