While examining the stars at night, we connect the visible constellations. We form our own notions as to what might exist on that interplanetary superhighway and who might be waiting for us. Not unlike the probing of Mars with NASA’s Exploration Rover Mission, in Tony Mazzarella’s debut science fiction novel, “Destiny Earth,” he imagines existence — viewing the “Pale Blue Dot” as it was 66 million years ago only this time — from Mars.
The novel begins with a conversation between protagonist and scientist, Dr. Will O’Neil, and colleague, Jonas Crouse. From the beginning, the tone demonstrates both humor and sarcasm, but their life’s mission is a serious one. As a result of their planet’s diminishing resources and increased population, O’Neil and his crew spend their days researching Earth for activity and habitability with the assistance of their Telos probe.
Of course, Will has not always been altruistic in his intentions. After a private scandal becomes public, Will realizes that his errors have proved more damaging to those around him. Only through Will’s vigilance to improve can he find his own humanity, and in turn, the impetus to save the rest of humankind. Will’s objective becomes that much more inspiring when Space Quorum scientist, Dr. Ileana Karkovich, is assigned to his project. Here, Mazzarella departs from the common damsel in distress trope and instead, makes Ileana one of the boldest in the group. Even after losing most of her family to intergalactic wars, Ileana holds out hope that her brother may have survived. Ileana continues ahead with unwavering power in the name of justice and allegiance to family.
Unfortunately for the group, competitor and Victory Space Commander, James Devon, has some bad news. In his profession, James is tasked to locate and disseminate news of asteroid activity. It is not until it is almost too late that James discovers a sizable asteroid headed toward one of the known colonies — Will’s. Even after a falling out, James ignores his pride and contacts Will to warn him of the impending doom. However, as the two men attempt to save humankind, there exists an elite and sinister group who only intend to save themselves by colonizing Earth while leaving the masses to die.
As the novel nears its conclusion, the mission grows more dangerous and readers come to the realization that there may only be few survivors. There, we observe Will aboard a spacecraft in distress, finding the life he knew and loved, seemingly gone in an instant. The closing pages of the novel may leave readers worried for those aboard, but one thing remains: “[Will] would make it there and build a life for himself […]. To do so he knew what had to be done. He had to overcome the grief and challenges that lay ahead and meet his destiny on a new world. His destiny was Earth.”
“Destiny Earth” is available for purchase online in print and in Kindle format. The gripping continuation to the saga is expected for release in July 2015.
The Weekender Rating: 5 W’s