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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Gus by Terry Smith follows a team of scientists as they embark on an extraordinary adventure into space. Their goal is to find a solution to the environmental deterioration affecting Earth but as the team gets to know each other, they encounter the unexpected: life on another planet and God. The team lands on a planet that offers many surprises and safety with the people who live there, providing help. During their mission, God contacts them using the moniker Gus and offers them guidance and a possible way to save Earth.
Terry Smith provides a unique, uplifting science fiction adventure exploring the idea of the beginning of the world and what a perfect world could look like. Gus is a story of starting again with an in-depth look at faith, hope, and happiness. The planet they happen upon has a Utopian feel versus the Earth they've left behind, which is dying and has violence, pollution, and destruction. Companionship is seen through various relationships from the bond with a pet to friendship to romantic love. Their journey often feels like the story of Genesis with the team asking Gus for various things and the new planet being the ideal place of peace. The planet is about happiness and peace with everyone being a Friend or a Neighbor, and even sports being non-violent while still possessing fun and competition.
A majority of the focus is on community and friendship as friends and neighbors often come together and by doing so make this place successfully one of peace. Though this is a happy tale, it's not without some conflict for the team to face and how everything evolves as they try to move forward. Some suspense is involved as the team is searching for the answer to saving Earth and what it could mean. Humor is woven throughout the story so the tone remains fairly light. This new planet represents a wish for something better, a better world and better relationships. Gus is the perfect read for those who enjoy science fiction; a journey that explores the wish for happiness through an idealistic view of what Earth could be.