The Seventh Day of Light – Part 1 - Shadows. Riccardo Bertora. Create Space Independent Publishing Forum. February 2015. 214 pp. ISBN#: 9781507580943.
It’s 1958 and the race for the first manned space flight is in full gear. Russia has already sent a dog into space in the Sputnik program. The fact that that dog later died isn’t considered a blockade for future missions to outer space. So it is that a choice for the first man to fly to space is made. He is 24 years old, a child prodigy who has propelled into a role of leadership due to his remarkable intelligence, flight knowledge, military skills, and physical toughness. The man chosen for this formidable, dangerous task is Sergei Federev and what he is about to undergo will leave the reader with mouth agape and more questions than answers!
Riccardo Bertora’s first novel in this planned series is the story of the explosion that would have killed any other human being instantly. However, Sergei not only survives but finds himself completely healed and awake on a planet whose inhabitants are scientifically advanced and free of the strife that exists on Earth. The story is replete with explanations of how disease and war have been obliterated. Scientific explanations are vaguely offered, the only incredible aspect of this riveting novel, and Sergei goes so far as attempting to form a relationship of a woman. Sergei eventually decides to return to Earth, no mean feat since this planet is in a different solar system and galaxy far, far from the Milky Way we know.
As much attention is given to the Cold War and Russia’s secretive, absolute decisions as the science fiction end of the novel. At first on his return Sergei is not believed but then the plot goes sinister as he disappears and is being hunted by the government. Will or won’t he survive his new fugitive status? Will he live or die?
Except for the very vague scientific explanations about eradicating war and how the inhabitants of this strange planet give birth, The Seventh Day of Light is a fascinating read about a topic that intrigues most human beings. Bertora has done a good job with imagining what life might be like on other planets far from our limited understanding. Nicely done science fiction/fantasy!