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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
Bernard’s Promise by S.D. Falchetti is a science fiction novel, number seven in the Hayden’s World series. I had not read any other books in the series but I was pleasantly surprised that the story, for the most part, stood on its own with very little explanation needed from previous books. James Hayden is the main character, a space explorer who builds a spaceship and assembles a crew for a dangerous mission to a planet that orbits a nearby star. The crew is a team of scientists plus an A.I. Their only agenda is to discover life on another planet. They are expecting to find life that is passive and easy to study but events that take place before and after they land tell a different story. The discoveries they make are more than they ever imagined and will change the course of mankind.
Bernard’s Promise is hard science fiction done right in my opinion. Author S.D. Falchetti seems to have a strong grasp on the science of space exploration and does a great job of keeping everything as close to reality as possible. Yes, the story is set in the future but it sounds plausible as if this could really be how it all happens in the 2080s. What makes this story great though is the combination of hard science and great storytelling. The narrative moves along at a comfortable speed, never lingering too long in one place, keeping it all interesting and exciting. Bernard’s Promise also has an imaginative plot that takes its readers into new territory that isn’t the least bit predictable. On top of that, the cast of characters is first rate. James and his small crew are all relatable characters who have unique personalities. I found myself connecting with them early on in the story and rooting for them to succeed as they ventured into the unknown. I highly recommend Bernard’s Promise.