Blog Tour: The Third Last Communiqué AND The Second Last Communiqué, D.J. Hall
Science Fiction: The Third Last Communiqué AND The Second Last Communiqué, D.J. Hall
Blog Tour January 27, 2023
These two books are not your typical serial novels. Who writes the “Third” anything first? The “Second” did come second, so I think we can assume this won’t go beyond a trilogy. These books are also not so much in sequence as they are occurring simultaneously on alternate timelines.
In the first book, which is The Third Last Communiqué, Australian family man James is suffering from nightmares. A figure keeps appearing to him, telling him about significant scientific discoveries that could change the world, end disease, assist humans on their next step in evolution. All he needs to do is share his dreams with the world.
As you may suspect, telling people an alien is guiding you toward enlightenment does not get the kind of attention James might have hoped for.
Aloka is an astronaut, the first person to step foot on Mars. Upon arrival, she is shocked to see an empty Coca Cola can waiting for them. Upon their return to earth, she is even more shocked to learn that the President has blamed her, calling it a publicity stunt that she engineered. Fleeing the press and the death threats, she returns home to the Navajo reservation where she begins dreaming about extraordinary mathematical calculations that would turn physics upside down.
Nadeeka is a six-year-old girl from Sri Lanka who loses her legs and her speech to a landmine. Although she can no longer talk, she can paint. Her art as a very young child is compared to the greatest painters in history. She favors landscapes, painting jungle trees that she has never seen so perfectly that a scientist can recognize the species. One of them is a tree discovered only months before. Not only had Nadeeka not seen it, she could not have seen it. It was discovered in South America and only a few scientists around the world were even aware of it.
These three individuals are drawn together in powerful and mystical ways, each of them trying to share their gifts with the world, each of them struggling to find the right audience. The world is not always ready to hear what it needs to hear.
The The Second Last Communiqué, we again meet James. In this timeline, though, he is the owner of a small coffee shop. He not only begins to get nightmares, but he also sees mathematical patterns appearing in places they shouldn’t. He also begins to see numbers tattooed on his arm. Those numbers are visible to others as well. They come and go, leaving James completely shaken each time. To cope, James tuns to alcohol and drugs, destroying his marriage and wrecking his business.
After his wife leaves, James meets Lucy. Lucy is hooked on heroin, and becomes James’ supplier and lover. She also sees mathematical patterns and equations appearing everywhere, and she also copes by taking drugs.
The third key figure in this book, Maximilian, is a serial killer. He has stumbled onto the secret of eternal life. His killing spree began when he was a Nazi overseeing a concentration camp during World War II. Now, more than 100 years later, he looks the same as he did then. His attitudes and prejudices have also kept their youthful–and radioactive–glow.
D.J. Hall raises some important questions with these novels. Could we handle knowledge that could end disease, extend life, change physics, promote our own evolution? Or would we reject it, possibly to the point of killing, ostracizing, demonizing, or involuntarily committing the messengers? And, assuming some of the wisdom does get transmitted, how would we use it? It might be nice to see a committed medical professional be given an extended life in order to do more good. I might enjoy the chance to meet my grandchildrens’ grandchildren. But what if it also allowed a Nazi to continue murdering Jews for a century after the concentration camps were liberated? How would any of us feel? And could any of us cope with receiving that kind of knowledge, or would we also retreat into alcohol, other drugs, or insanity?
There may be evolutionary steps waiting for humans in future years. The real question is whether we will survive long enough to see them take place, and whether we will accept them when they come. I am not convinced that the answer to either of those questions is yes.
Our thanks to Zoe of Zooloos for our copies of these novels, provided so we could review them as part of this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers on this tour.
Book Review: The Third Last Communiqué AND The Second Last Communiqué, D.J. Hall