Axiom's End - Lindsay Ellis

Axiom's End

By Lindsay Ellis

  • Release Date: 2020-07-21
  • Genre: Science Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 58 Ratings

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The alternate history first contact adventure Axiom's End is an extraordinary debut from Hugo finalist and video essayist Lindsay Ellis.

Truth is a human right.

It’s fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn’t spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government—and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father’s leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him—until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up, and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.

Realizing the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can, and finds that the best way for her to uncover the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. Their otherworldly connection will change everything she thought she knew about being human—and could unleash a force more sinister than she ever imagined.


  • First Contact Taken Seriously

    By -shrug-
    The first contact subgenre seems to fall into 3 categories; ET-type (cute, cuddly, helpless), War of the Worlds (invasion, war), or Star Trek (humans but with one defining, different trait). Axiom’s End seems to be following in the vein of stories like Arrival that want to wrestle seriously with the truly /alien/ parts of first contact. It contains some of the action and intrigue you would expect from the ET version, but combines it with serious introspection about culture clash, language, and the power of information. There’s a distinct point in the story where a similar book would allow the aliens to blast off and wrap up the story with a simple return to status quo. To Ellis’s credit the work is put in to resolve the plot beyond an acknowledgement that humanity is fearful of the Other.
  • Excellent first effort!

    By Lifeform1
    I will be looking for her next book.