"The Echo" is the sequel to James Smythe's acclaimed science-fiction novel, "The Explorer." (Harper Voyager, 302 pages)
The story, the second book in a proposed four-part series, begins twenty years after the ill-fated spacecraft Ishiguro was lost. A new expedition, the concept of two brothers Tomas and Mirakel "Mira" Hyvonen, has been planned.
In this space flight, one brother, Tomas, will direct the mission on Earth while the other, Mira, will join a group of astronauts in the spacecraft "Lara" to explore the anomaly, a strange phenomenon in which the very fabric of space and time appear warped.
But as in the previous work, space wreaks havoc on the human psyche. Mira experiences intense insomnia and another crew member kills himself.
An attempted rescue of the ship Ishiguro, which is found trapped in the anomaly, turns into disaster as crew members are killed.
But in the abyss of the anomaly, death is not final, but in some utterly surreal manner, the dying process is repeated over and over again in a gruesome and hellish cycle.
Comparisons have been made between the recent film "Gravity" and Smythe's sci-fi noir series.
"Gravity" captured, with stunning visual effects, the horror
of being stranded all alone in space. With his imaginative stories, James Smythe relates the psychological terror of being trapped in the void of outer space well beyond the safety of Mother Earth.
Sci-fi readers will stay tuned for the final two chapters in James Smythe's