Somewhere, in interstellar space, a doomed ship is undergoing its death throes, as mutiny runs rampant throughout the ship. What has caused this crew to kill each other and destroy their ship? When the Skae discover this ghost ship and download the data on it, they uncover the grisly truth. The ship contains the DNA samples and the last remnants of a dying world, a world whose sun has gone Supernova and destroyed its solar system. They do have a chance to save this species, though, if they can clone the surviving DNA and then send them back, in time, to prevent the problems that led to the mutiny aboard Hegira.
Karm is cloned, raised and sent back, in time, to the planet Dyan’ta to put in place the plan to save an entire species, the Brin, from destruction. He must assemble a powerful, financial empire that will give him the wherewithal to be in a position to stop whatever went wrong on Hegira, but he must do it all without revealing to anyone his true mission. He must not disturb the past too greatly or the future could be irreparably altered. With just his beautiful, feisty, “niece” at his side and the brilliant young scientist Dr Jontar Rocker, the trio must bring the technology of the future to bear on the problems facing Dyan’ta, before the inevitable supernova, whilst always fighting off the secular interests of the Monarchy and the spiritual influence of the Church.
Cronin’s work is my kind of Science Fiction – fantastical, without being too highly technical. Yes, the story is set on another planet, it involves time-travel and interstellar voyaging, but at its heart it is still very much an action mystery and a romance. Cronin has avoided being dragged down by scientific jargon and concepts outside the understanding of most readers. This is a good, old-fashioned, action adventure that just happens to be set in outer space. As a read, Hegira flows beautifully, with simple and easily understood language, a minimum of difficult new words to master and a world touchingly similar to our own. The author explores and allows the four main factions in the story to play off each other: The Faith, The King, The Politicians, and The Industrialist. Each group has its own agenda and is seeking ultimate control, but for Karm, he must always stay one step ahead of the rest and predict their actions the whole way through to ensure the success of his mission.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would highly recommend it to any science-fiction, science-fantasy readers, in particular, but to all lovers of a good action/romance, in general. Hegira by Jim Cronin is excellent, with great character development and a rollicking story. As a youngster, growing up, I was addicted to Science Fiction, but one author, in particular, stood out, for me, Robert A. Heinlein. I read every one of Heinlein’s books, because they were first and foremost wonderful stories and didn’t dwell on the technical subjects of space, jargon, and world-building. They were just damn good stories and Hegira by Jim Cronin reminded me of those stories – simple, fun, and a little bit exotic. An excellent book.