The glowing structure at the bottom of a lonely northern lake is clearly not of this Earth, but scuba diver Michael Hart can’t stay away. It could be a trap. But it could also be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be someone special. The alien artifact is ancient but not abandoned, and what it offers will change him forever, leaving him with astonishing abilities and a destiny he would never have imagined.
Ocean researcher Sakiko Matthews is desperate to find a cure for Earth’s dying seas, willing to put her career on the line to learn the answers she needs. In Michael Hart she finds a mysterious ally who could be the key to her success, but the price of his partnership will be terribly high.
The path they choose will affect the very future of the human race. Michael could become a hero, or the greatest traitor the world has ever known.
Because he is no longer alone, not even in his own body.
There is another.
The water of the lake seemed darker and lonelier this time. Michael pulled himself down through the murk. He had a strong feeling that he was on a fool’s errand—that his imagination had got the better of him and there was nothing to be found.
But it was there, it was all there.
The water filled with radiance that illuminated the silty lake bottom over an area about the size of a small suburban lot. Strange structures stood in irregular rows: a garden of vast “elephant ear” plants, or an office worker’s “cubicle farm” except in barely-perceptible motion—he couldn’t find the right analog without knowing whether the things were alive or constructed.
Flattened panel-like objects extended upward like asymmetrical walls about the height of a man but not connected—unless at their bases. Thin, pliant, and nearly transparent, it all gave off light. Everything he saw was a source of light. And the flat surfaces were dappled with patterns of some kind.READ MORE
With his mind shifting from Sunday School depictions of Heaven to lurid special-effects sequences in sci-fi movies, he fought both the urge to flee and a compelling call to approach.
Afraid or not, he wasn’t going to learn any more without getting closer.
Like a spider dropping from its web, he lowered himself into the middle of the glow, keeping clear of the walls. Or maybe not walls. They spread themselves apart. Welcoming.
Unless he wasn’t the spider, but the fly.COLLAPSE
"A deep dive into the best parts of science fiction—thrilling and thought-provoking! Naïda is Overton’s best book yet. I buy him on sight and never regret the choice.
Murky waters are the least of Michael Hart’s problems. The amateur scuba diver finds himself out of his depths when unwittingly ‘joined’ to an alien symbiote. He knows curiosity killed the cat but worries it might do worse to him. Could his sense of wonder really lead to the end of the world? There’s reason to believe he might just find out.
Earth’s fate rests on his ability to communicate with his body’s unwelcome guest. Unsure who to trust, Michael finds himself doubting his own choices and suspecting the alien’s ‘real’ motivation. Worse, his friends and family are turning on him in his time of need. If he ever hopes to reconcile with the symbiote he’ll have convince ocean researcher Sakiko Matthews that he’s not insane and join in her fight to cure the acidification of the seas.
The limits of human potential are front and centre as one man’s comfortably boring life changes…and not by choice. Only Michael Hart knows the truth but will anyone listen? Time is running out and so is the alien symbiote’s patience.
Scott Overton writes with confidence. A natural wordsmith, his most recent novel has the quiet competence of a seasoned author mixed with the pure joy of a lifelong fan of the genre. In Naïda he proves himself equally adept at taking the reader from the everyday life of an unhappy university professor and carrying us into the mind of an orphaned alien waiting millennia to complete its destiny.
Overton’s created a fun, yet thoughtful, sci-fi novel that merges the best aspects of first contact, coming-of-age, and superhero fiction into a tightly-plotted ecological-adventure novel. Full of believable characters, seamless dialogue, and, above all, heart, Naïda is a thrill ride from start to finish.
A former radio ‘personality’, Scott has outdone himself with each successive release. From his much-acclaimed debut novel Dead Air, to his two short story collections Beyond and Disastrous!, not to mention his first novel-length foray into science fiction, The Primus Labyrinth, he has proven himself a talent of note. His near-future visions are not to be missed."
- 5 Stars