The Fifth World by Jacob Foxx
In the early twenty-second century, the earth is dying, reeling from the effects of a brutal nuclear war. To save humanity, an international alliance called the Consortium seeks to build a new homeland on a distant planet called Gaia. To send the first wave of settlers, the Consortium constructs an enormous starship called the Ark, which will allow them to reach Gaia and begin rebuilding humanity.
Biologist Becca Newman labors on the Ark Project with a profound concern. Her brother Alex will be among the first crew members to settle on Gaia. Yet when the starship launches from Earth and heads through deep space en route to Gaia, the ship vanishes. Becca is devastated. Her brother is presumed dead and the last and best hope for humanity’s survival has disappeared into the ether of space.
Fourteen years later, she learns that the Consortium made a mistake. Despite losing contact, the Ark succeeded in its mission and the ship and its colonists safely reached Gaia. Becca is thrilled and overwhelmed by the knowledge that her brother may still be alive out on the distant planet. She joins an interstellar expedition to Gaia to find out the status of the colony and what happened to the Ark.
Upon arriving on Gaia, Becca is happily reunited with Alex but the she soon learns the other visitors from Earth are not welcome. The colonists are quite happy in their seclusion and are prepared to fight to break free of Earth’s control. She soon learns about the inhumane cruelty of the Consortium, the violent insurrection, and a separatist plot set in motion before the Ark was even built.
The Fifth World is an explosive mix of political intrigue, post-apocalyptic survival, space travel, and violent revolution that will engross fans of Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series. The book is less focused on the wonders of future technology but more on the future humanity as a civilization and a species.
The book highlights the constant temptation of power and the opportunistic rise of totalitarianism, religious fanaticism, and brutality in the midst of global catastrophe. This imaginative novel is predicated on the belief that as human innovation gives rise to a wider array of life-changing technologies, human nature remains immutable and will react to fear and danger the same in every age.
The Fifth World: The Times That Try Men’s Souls by Jacob Foxx
Gaia’s struggle for freedom continues in the sequel to The Fifth World.
Their secret is out. The Gaian rebels hoped that by stopping the starship Prophet from returning to Earth, they could hide their existence and live in peace. They were wrong. Five years after the destruction of the Prophet, Earth has learned of the rebellion on planet Gaia and the plot of the mysterious Oraibi Brotherhood. A powerful army is sent over sixty light years to destroy the Oraibi and place Gaia back under Earth rule. Gaian Prime Minister Alex Newman faces an impossible choice of surrender or a war they are sure to lose. For his sister Becca, a survivor of the Prophet and witness to the ruthless brutality of Earth, the choice is simple. They must fight.
The Times That Try Men’s Souls is the story of a rebellion against a totalitarian world order that has devastated and oppressed Earth. Their heroic fight against overwhelming odds is a testament to the human spirit and its inherent desire to live free.