Book Review

Intergalactica by F P Trotta

It's a supremely entertaining read that also packs thoughtful meditations on life's deepest questions. F.P. Trotta weaves imaginative sci-fi wonders with touching humanity to tell a mythic story of self-discovery, destiny and our place among the stars.

Title: Intergalactica

Author: F P Trotta

Publisher: Independently published

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

First Publication: 2023

Language: English

Book Summary: Intergalactica by F P Trotta

The first book from the Brazilian space opera series now in English!

It’s launch day for NASA’s long-awaited manned expedition to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa! Neuropsychiatrist Amanda awakens after months in a coma caused by acute meningitis…

Along with two patients, they discover themselves to be key pieces in an ever-growing puzzle involving an underground geopolitical corporation called The Firm, which plans to sabotage the mission, taking advantage of a new technology to hijack the ship and set a course for a habitable planet located seventeen light-years away from Earth.

Originally released in Brazil in 2016, the Intergalactica book series moved thousands of physical and digital copies in Portuguese. Discover a new Earth as you journey to the stars in the first volume of F. P. Trotta’s saga.

Book Review - Intergalactica by F P Trotta

Book Review: Intergalactica by F P Trotta

Intergalactica is the first book in Brazilian author F.P. Trotta’s ambitious space opera series, originally published in Portuguese in 2016. At over 300 pages, it wastes no time launching readers into an epic sci-fi adventure across the cosmos. While the story introduces complex themes and ideas, it remains an entertaining page-turner from start to finish.

The novel kicks off with striking imagery, setting the scene of a fierce thunderstorm raging over Chicago on the eve of a momentous event. The next day, NASA is poised to launch its pioneering manned mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, in search of signs of extraterrestrial life. This opening establishes a fascinating backdrop of near-future space travel while also creating a sense of foreboding with the dark storm clouds.

It is within this atmosphere that readers first meet Amanda Collins, a neuropsychiatrist who awakens from a devastating months-long coma in a Chicago hospital. Her recovery seems nothing short of a miracle to doctors, given how advanced her case of meningitis was. When Amanda shares an otherworldly near-death experience with her friends Ripley and Stryker, their intrigue is piqued. Amanda describes traveling through darkness into a lush, Earth-like realm, coming across friendly humanoids and fantastical architecture. Most striking of all was her encounter with a glowing entity who communicated deep, cosmic truths to Amanda without words. Though Amanda is a woman of science, the experience’s vivid clarity leaves her uncertain how to reconcile it.

This early scene is particularly effective in drawing readers straight into the heart of the story’s mysteries. Trotta poses fascinating questions about the nature of consciousness and reality that stay with the reader throughout. Amanda’s tale also sets up her pivotal role in the events to come, hinting at larger cosmic forces at work. From here, the plot accelerates at breakneck pace as Amanda and her friends find themselves targeted and thrust into danger. A confrontation reveals Amanda’s estranged father Oswald to be the sinister force behind it all. In revealing flashbacks, it’s shown Oswald abandoned Amanda and her mother years ago after a business deal soured.

Now the enigmatic leader of an underground geopolitical corporation called The Firm, Oswald plans to hijack the Europa mission for his own sinister ends. Using advanced teleportation technology, he intends to transport the spacecraft and all its crew seventeen light years away to an Earth-like planet, leaving Earth vulnerable to destruction. With the stakes immediately sky-high, Amanda realizes she must piece together her past to understand Oswald’s motives and stop his plans. Along with Ripley, Stryker and new acquaintance Lina, Amanda begins infiltrating The Firm from within using her medical knowledge and combat training. Amanda’s group race to decrypt teleportation tech, decode Oswald’s endgame, and survive repeated attacks from his forces. Deception, combat, engineering challenges and tight escapes become the norm. Twists like reversible aging drugs that can make one young or old add further intrigue.

What follows is a thrilling rollercoaster ride across settings both grounded and visionary. Trotta vividly brings to life scenes like Amanda’s secret headquarters “The Lair,” the high-tech facilities of The Firm, and the varied landscapes of planets like Saturn’s moon Titan. He also crafts imaginative alien cultures and advanced space vessels that feel grounded in scientific possibility. Furthermore, Trotta imbues even minor characters and background extras with a sense of purpose and humanity. Whether friendly or antagonistic, nearly everyone Amanda and her crew encounter seems to have rich inner lives and agendas driving their actions. This lends an impressive level of world-building to what could have been disposable presences.

Throughout, F P Trotta keeps up a steady stream of revelations that peel back more layers of the overarching conspiracy. So the stage widens from a family feud to an intergalactic battle between visions of humanity’s destiny. Amanda must not only outmaneuver her father, but also determine whether more benevolent cosmic forces truly guide her path as her near-death experience suggested. She comes to understand herself as a key that could unlock mysteries about Earth’s place in the universe. Along the way, Amanda forms bonds with several alien comrades who sacrifice much to aid the cause. Their presence underscores Trotta’s positive depiction of humanity’s place among the stars, making diversity and cooperation humanity’s greatest assets.

While the prose can feel a tad workmanlike in areas as a result of translation, Trotta more than makes up for it with sheer imaginative gusto. Every chapter serves up innovations, near-misses and reveals that continue thickening the plot. The relentless pace allows little room for rest or reflection, keeping readers fully engaged page after page. I won’t spoil the multiple twists, but suffice to say Trotta pulls the rug out from under expectations in the most satisfying of ways. It’s a testament to how effectively he’s constructed layered intrigues and feints within feints to get to this point. Readers will be on the edge of their seats right until the end.

Intergalactica undeniably succeeds as a starry-eyed adventure. F.P. Trotta polishes up familiar space opera tropes with positive messages of our connectedness across space and time. He leaves no doubt about humanity’s rightful place stepping boldly into the cosmos. For those seeking an imaginative, heartfelt journey beyond the stars, Intergalactica and its yet untranslated sequels offer unlimited potential. Trotta has spun a epic yarn that inspires the same sense of childlike wonder about alien life that first drove our earliest dreamers to reach for the skies. And that is an achievement to last among the eternal.

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It's a supremely entertaining read that also packs thoughtful meditations on life's deepest questions. F.P. Trotta weaves imaginative sci-fi wonders with touching humanity to tell a mythic story of self-discovery, destiny and our place among the stars. Intergalactica by F P Trotta