Review: Symphony of Destruction

Stunning story of survival, aboard a spaceship wrecked by viral payload particles.

Author: Ken Goudsward

Without warning, a commercial cargo space vessel, modified with a separate deck section for the senior-most official’s daughter to practice her oboe, ploughs into a cloud of particles suspended in their path. Some of the particles penetrate the hull, releasing an airborne virus which rapidly decimates the crew, and leaves the ship damaged.

Secluded in her separate deck section, composing tunes on her oboe, Hanna soon discovers that she’s cut off from the rest of the ship. Until a robot comes and rescues her, and houses her in a dining section, close to food and facilities. She remains there for a few months, sharing the space with the deceased crew who’re enveloped in cocoon-like sheaths. Hanna remains alone, her mind eating itself away, with only the medical and chaplain robot Brother Anderson occasionally checking in on her. Until she discovers there’s another crew member alive.

After spending months in a coma, Colin awakes to find Hanna still holds a grudge against him, from what he knows to be a serious misunderstanding. Brother Anderson is concerned about getting the two to work together, to help with repairs, and to hold the rapidly deteriorating ship together.

The sounds the ship makes while tearing itself apart, sound eerily like music, something that resonates with Hanna. Colin, however, knows the sounds imply impending doom. Can he ever explain his past actions to Hanna? Will Hanna ever be able to connect with Colin? And, would Brother Anderson, now vastly evolved, find a life to live? How will they ever survive?

Symphony of Destruction is a well-paced book with enough action to keep a reader engrossed. The author’s insights into the psychological condition faced by isolated crews is especially gripping. I’ll be looking out for the next book in The Spindown Saga series.