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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
When aliens arrive on present-day Earth of 2020, people are in awe and wonder about the visitors from outer space. They call themselves Lumenarians, and they are not simply 'visiting'. They want to recruit humans for war. In The Albatross: Contact (The Albatross, Book 1) by Connor Mackay, both humans and Lumenarians prepare themselves for battle while fighting their own personal demons and overcoming other surprising hurdles as they journey light-years away into space.
Engaging from the start and with Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" as the pivotal element－the world-building, universal ethical issues and characters’ personal conflicts are riveting to read and add depth to the well-paced plot. I like the way the story is structured and divided between three protagonists’ POVs. Ex-special forces Will Reach numbs his dark memories with jokes and alcohol. Some readers will find that he isn't an easy character to root for but, as the story progresses, he shows his worth as a loyal friend and an invaluable recruit for the interstellar war. Sarah Li is an intelligent graduate from MIT, who fully realizes her field study of astronautics by joining the mission. Her keen observations and inquisitiveness of her surrounding are admirable, bringing a sense of wonder of the advanced tech of the aliens. Lumenarian leader Arthur is my favorite character as his thoughts on their mission and the human recruits－particularly Will－ further illuminate the high stakes of war. Simply put, Connor Mackay's military sci-fi space adventure Albatross: Contact ends on a satisfactory note, though leaving questions to be addressed in the next installment.