Universe: Awakening (Terra Nova Book 1) by David Ellis Overttun- First Chapter review

Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you and a huge sorry to David Overttun for a copy of this novel and for also taking ages to review it.  I have reviewed the first chapter in order to give readers an insight to this novel and watch out for a full review coming soon.



The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of 12 that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and space‑time distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged, but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast‑forward to 526,880. A sole‑surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around it begins to stretch and distend. The probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving at superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next 1,000 years. To the Celesti, that is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.

This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower levels of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary to do something extraordinary?

Universe: Awakening answers this question. In the process, it explores the world of the Celesti, a highly evolved humanoid species with advanced technology, physiology and a unique way of procreation. It blends science and political intrigue to reveal the interplay of storyline and character development that forms the staging ground for the Terra Nova Series.

My Thoughts

Before I begin I would like to point out that Sci-Fi is not a genre that I am heavily familiar with but I am on a mission to open myself up to new types of reading experiences since I began my blog so I was more than happy to accept a review copy of David’s novel.  The main thing I want to get across is that if there any misconceptions or inaccuracies in my first chapter review then it down to my personal understanding and experience and nothing to do with the author.

I read:

Chapter 1 – Paperback

Chapter 1 to 6 – E Book

The novel is set in the future where rather than send space missions using astronauts into space there are probes sent out to collect data and send it back to Earth.

Distortion (eChapter 1)

The initial chapter is mainly focused on Sofia (An artificially Intelligent probe – AIP) and Guardian 9 (G9) who are both intelligent computer systems charged with montoring, collecting and sending data.  They witness a blueshift which seems to indicate they are likely to cease existing and this seems to trigger a need for survival.

Probe and Guardian (eChapter 2)

Over the early chapters these systems seem to develop very human like qualities and a friendship develops  between the two.  As I was reading I often forgot they weren’t people and became really invested in their story, especially as they evolve to develop a sense of survival and I cannot wait to delve into what happens next with them.  I really hope they remain a constant further into the novel as I loved watching these ‘characters’ develop and was fascinated by them.

Exodus (eChapter 6)

The think I was most scared of when approaching this novel was not understanding the terminology.  I watch sci-fi when there’s a lot of visual to support the imagination however it’s very different when reading.  I actually was pleasantly surprised.  I did have to read slower than usual to allow myself to digest and process this new style of writing and occasionally re-read point to clarify but I feel that this was a good novel for someone very inexperienced like myself to start with.

I loved the characters, I enjoyed the writing style and I feel a lot more confident reading on with the rest of the novel although it may take me some time and a little more brain power than I usually use – I cannot wait to find out what is coming.

Author Bio – David E. Overttun

I grew up in a lower‑middle‑class neighborhood in a town in the Midwest. My mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. For the most part, I had a very happy childhood. I was educated in the public‑school system. In university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one:  my wife. She loves the stories.

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