Read Offworld by Robin Parrish Online


The return of NASA's first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground control before entry, things look bleak. Safe after a treacherous landing, the crew emerges to discover the unthinkable--every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace. Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discoveThe return of NASA's first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground control before entry, things look bleak. Safe after a treacherous landing, the crew emerges to discover the unthinkable--every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace. Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover where everyone has gone--and how to get them back--only to discover they may not be as alone as they thought....

Title : Offworld
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19296846
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 370 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Offworld Reviews

  • Abigail
    2019-03-24 08:47

    Yep you saw it right, I am reviewing a Christian Fiction book. I was caught WAY off guard about 2/3 of the way through when a character states:"Life is poetry," said Mae. "Stop. Watch. Listen. There's poetry all over. And the thing about poetry? It don't write itself"I stopped and went hmmmmm OK, but I highlighted it and saw all the commenters who had also highlighted it and they were obviously Christian readers (insert "Praise Jesus.." "God is Love.." etc.. So I had to go look here on GR to see if this was Christian Fiction I had picked up. Want to talk about a DUH moment? But I was 67% through and it was not bothering me. Heck I just had complained about another book tricking me into reading a rabid conservation commentary and spiritual agenda and this was far from that. It was a great read so far! And I cannot say I was tricked! And then I finished it, and it was full of Christian symbolism in the end, but it was a message of hope and a message of warning, like many of these books but you know what else it was? It was a fun sci-fi thriller. It was post-apocalyptic-ish. It had all the conventions of sci-fi thrillers and PA books are suppose to have. It has a strong message, there is love, heartache, but there is also a lot of violence, so watch it there if you are expecting it to not have any of that because it was written by a well known Christian Author (which I learned later). I really liked it! So, I am giving it 4 stars, and it is well deserving. I would recommend this to any readers even those who do not read Christian Fiction. I am not Christian, I am a proud pagan priestess. I dig Tolkien, CS Lewis, Frank Herbert and Orson Scott Card and they are all writers who construct stories with strong Christian mythos, ethics, lessons etc. But they are not preaching or witnessing between the written word. They just are telling me a tale, and this was one heck of a great tale! PREMISE: What happens to a group of astronauts who come back to earth after being the first men on Mars. Back to a world which seems to be completely empty. No humans, no animals, nothing, they all seem to have disappeared. How do people who already have been living in confined isolation cope to living in a world with infinite empty spaces where there should be walking talking people. What if they are not as alone as they thought? What if there seems to be something out there that cannot be explained, can they accept it on faith alone?Triggers - violence and I was triggered by the idea of an empty world. It was a dark read but the ending made it worthwhile.

  • Alan
    2019-03-25 08:38

    Off-kilter.There's something off-kilter about this book, and I'm not sure I can put my finger directly on it. It's not as simple and petty as the author's unbalanced name (shouldn't it be Robbin Parrish, or Robin Parish?); nor is it the cinematic implausibility of the scrapes the protagonists get into, and even more implausibly out of. Nor is it the denouement, which wraps up and ties off pretty much every thread.Maybe it was the prose itself, which—while workmanlike—occasionally became difficult to parse. From late in the book, for one specific example, this description: "it was a man-made construct; it was random and imprecise in the extreme, entirely function over form." Which does not really say what the author seems to intend it to say... "function over form" indicates neither randomness nor imprecision, though it does mean that the elegance of the construct might have been lacking. This isn't really wrong, as a description, but it does take a little more effort to work through than is desirable.Offworld's setup is simple enough: four astronauts on a months-long mission to Mars lose contact with Earth, and when they get back home, they discover that every human being—indeed, every animal, including insects—has vanished, leaving behind no widespread destruction and no obvious explanation for their disappearance.Uh-oh... here we go again. This is basically the same setup as in Thomas Glavinic's Night Work, which I reviewed awhile ago—the astronauts find similarly functional unattended systems, and do have to deal with the shock and distress of losing their loved ones, though their self-discipline keeps them from going quite so much off the rails as Glavinic's singular protagonist. The astronauts have more clues to work with, too, especially including a bizarre bright light emanating from the area of Houston, Texas...There are good points to this book: it definitely keeps moving, and it does resolve the issues it raises, for the most part. And it kept me guessing; I did not really anticipate the ending, though it was in keeping with what went before. But, still, this book did not really impress me. Maybe it was that there didn't seem to be much here that was new or original; we've seen this stuff before—the almost-empty Earth, and the massive property damage that occurs as Our Heroes make their way towards a rather arbitrary goal. Maybe it was the rushed and cavalier ending, which was something of a let-down despite its consistency with the plot and the characters.Offworld is, in the end, a serviceable diversion; I just wish I could offer it more praise than that.

  • Danny Bernier
    2019-02-26 15:56

    This is a decent scifi story which could have been better. The premise is excellent and the characters believable. The author lost me when he waded into the religious waters. The ending seemed to not fit the tone of the rest of the story and felt rushed. Overall I enjoyed the book but was a bit disappointed

  • Pranav Koli
    2019-02-26 13:39

    What if you were all alone in this world ? .. What if you weren't ?Astronauts go through a huge deal of training to prepare them for the unexpected millions of miles away from home. The first manned mission to Mars was no different. But the biggest challenge they face, the biggest "unknown unknown" for them is waiting right here back at home. Losing all contact with home on way back, they return to an world that's completely uninhabited. They set off an a journey to determine the cause and run into more than they can handle.And then there's some unexpected things happening - buildings burning down, unexplained black outs - which leads to the only logical conclusion : There is"thing" out there. And these brave astronauts might not be as "alone" as they thought they were.This book keeps you guessing right from the very beginning as to what could be the reason behind this sudden disappearance. Is it an alien abduction? Is it a conspiracy ? Is it a divine interjection ? Is this their minds playing tricks ? Is it a sick joke ? Or is it just a bad, bad dream ? - The answer is stranger than you'd expect.Having just a handful of characters in the entire storyline is needle that the author has threaded quite expertly. You get to know the characters in quite the depth, but you still feel like you've barely scratched the surface. You might get to know them very well, but you'd rarely trust any one of them as all of them have this hidden facet to their personality, some hidden agenda which makes you question each and every one and their motives right from page 1. .Especially this one survivor they meet along the way. The only one to still be "there" wile the rest of the world's evaporated away. The fact that you know so very little about this person haunts the reader at every turn of the page.I guess the story would be best summarised by this quote form the book itself :"Life is poetry.Stop. Watch. Listen.There’s poetry all over.And the thing about poetry?It don’t write itself."

  • Andrew
    2019-03-17 10:55

    Offworld by Robin Parrish is not just bad, it's bullshit. It deceives the reader. It demeans the reader. It cloaks itself in the established tropes of science fiction only to culminate in the most anti-scientific rubbish possible: it was God all along! Mr. Parrish perniciously co-opts the science fiction genre, twisting it into some sort of grotesque Judaeo-Christian farce. Offworld is more than stupid: it is offensive.

  • Kari Thomas
    2019-03-01 15:57

    Non-stop actionWhen I choose a book, I read these reviews so if you are reading mine, GET THE BOOK!!!!! I loved the idea of astronauts that were on Mars coming home to no one left on Earth. The obstacles they face are heart stopping. You won't be sorry to have gotten this book.

  • Amydeanne
    2019-03-06 07:55

    I finished “Offworld” by Robin Parrish. Parrish’s writing style was very smooth and easy to read. I liked how action packed it was. The characters were interesting, and the storyline kept you guessing right until the end. I love that the book dabbles with different realities and the people disappearance. I was thinking it was going to a “Left behind” type book, but it was not. What’s the book about:“Every Person on This Planet Has Disappeared.” Commander Christopher Burke and his crew are humanity’s greatest explorers. They’ve finished their mission on the red dirt of Mars and now they just want to get back to Earth. To see friends, family, and loved ones. To be home. But even with communication to ground control cut and a perilous landing, nothing could prepare the crew for what they discover when they step foot back on planet Earth. Everyone…everywhere…is gone. It’s not a dream. It’s not a trick. Now Burke and his team have one mission:find out who or what is behind the disappearance of all mankind.”My favorite line ins the book is:“Life is poetry,” said Mae. “Stop. Watch. Listen. There’s poetry all over. And the thing about poetry? It don’t write itself.”But.. here’s my but.I have no clue why this would even be considered a Christian book. Sure there a few flighty moments of talk about faith and it does a weak attempt of saying that faith is something we should seek over fact (re. a bunch of scientists and astronauts- I mean read Lee Strobel than talk about faith and facts okay?)… it was just “off” to me. The whole sci-fi thing it worked, but as a Christian it did not work for me. If they would have left it as a shard of something alien it would have been fine, but because they hinted it was God I have an issue with it. I don’t think there is enough of any depth of Christianity even on the surface to classify this as Christian, so as Christian fiction I’m totally disappointed. As a sci-fi book, I enjoyed it and wouldn’t have thought twice about it as anything but an action/thriller story if it classified as such. I think Parrish is talented and though I’ve never read any of his other books, I’d probably pick one up if I was looking for a thriller that wasn’t overtly mainstream gore/junk, but I’m mostly disappointed that this is under the category of Christianity… I just don’t see it…I hate to be so harsh, but I don’t like books that are posers… the few parts that were almost Christian fell short of any actually biblical truth and it could have been any religion, not necessarily Christian. While the concept that someone else is in control was submitted I don’t feel like it was every really presented enough for anyone to take it seriously.I’m not sure how others found this book, and I hate to be so critical, but it actually made me mad. I am left wondering why this is called a Christian sci-fi ? Sorry

  • Janna
    2019-03-09 14:04

    I have not read Robin Parrish's other series of books (Relentless, Fearless, Merciless) but have heard such good things about them (and they are on my TBR list) that I was thrilled to see he had a stand alone book coming out that I could get my hands on. So "Offworld" comes in and I start reading and by the end of chapter 1, I can not put it down! The style is intense and pressing and I just kept turning the pages... 2:00 in the morning - who cares! I'm reading "Offworld" here people! I wasn't sure how he could make an interesting book with only really 4 characters, but boy did he. And all may not be as it seems anyway... or is it???The first manned mission to Mars comes home after 2 1/2 years excepting lots of hoopla and celebration... only one problem, no one is there to greet them. No one. Anywhere. Period. So the four astronauts set out to figure out what happened and where everyone is. The most obvious destination for answers is in Houston where an enormous shaft of light is emanating.Along the way they run into a few issues, but what will they find, and will they make it? I was absolutely sucked into the world of "Offworld". There were only two places where I was kind of like, okay already - the tornado and Chris Burke's flashbacks to Mars. Otherwise this book is a roller coaster that shoots out of the starting gate and doesn't stop til the last page! I can't wait to read more by Robin Parrish!

  • Tom Booker
    2019-03-11 07:54

    Offworld is a gripping and fast-paced tale about the disappearance of every human, and animal, on Earth. I was initially a bit skeptical about the book, Robin Parrish not being an author I have read before. But I'm glad I gave it a try because I really did thoroughly enjoy it.Stories where people have vanished, or living creatures, are quite common in books, film, and TV. Recent examples would be I am Legend, and Revolution (albeit for vastly different reasons). These stories are often badly done; for the tale to be entertaining and, more importantly, engaging, there has to be a reason, or a purpose, for everything that has happened.Offworld fulfills this obligation extremely well, and from the very beginning you are focused on the purpose of the story, and are never left wandering aimlessly wondering why you're reading it.I won't go into too much detail to avoid giving away any spoilers, but if you're a fan of science fiction, or are looking for an easy to read and fast-paced thriller (of a similar vein to Matthew Reilly, or Clive Cussler), then Offworld is a good choice.

  • Tal
    2019-03-10 15:43

    The return of NASA's first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground control before entry, things look bleak. Safe after a treacherous landing, the crew emerges to discover the unthinkable--every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace. Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover where everyone has gone--and how to get them back--only to discover they may not be as alone as they interesting premise, with lots of action, but slightly flat characters (although the ex-Marine with fibromyalgia was good).

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-26 08:48

    An interesting read, kept me guessing. The following 2 quotes really stood out for me: "We need to be around the people we care about most" and "Life is poetry....Stop, watch, listen, there's poetry all over..... it don't write itself".

  • Jenifer
    2019-03-21 07:55

    Great concept and exciting beginning...until I found out what really was going on. I didn't think it was very believable and I had too many questions afterwards.

  • T.C.
    2019-03-05 15:57

    After reading several book from Alton Gansky, I decided to read this one which I've had in my possession for some time. My view on books is pretty straightforward. I want them to speak to me, one way or another. At first this book didn't appeal to me, so it wasn't my first choice of reading when I had time to spare. It looked gloomy and off putting. However, when I started to read I noticed that I couldn't put it down. I just had to read on. This may be attributed to the cliffhangers in nearly every chapter or the plot development. I don't really know. I do know that I found this book to be a page turner.I don't think that this book classifies as purely SciFi. Developments and (some) events described could occur if you:- follow developments in quantum physics (e.a. CERN)- are aware of the existence of multiple dimensions (string theory)

  • Jeannine
    2019-03-04 16:01

    Wow, this was a real roller coaster ride. Great premise - the first manned expedition from Mars returns home under odd circumstances to find... nobody is there. No sign of man, woman, child, cow or mosquito. What could be going on? It's a blistering ride to find out. This is the sort of book that usually starts out splendidly, then completely falls apart and you end up throwing it across the room. But not this one. Take a nice dose of speculative science, twist and scramble and there you are. I nearly fainted when I saw this was published by Bethany House - not their usual fare. Interesting and complex characters behaving in believable ways. Fairly plausible plot, and quantum physics is always good for brain twisting. I really enjoyed this.

  • Jace Yahohanan Sese Cuneta
    2019-03-22 08:58

    Immersive and scary!That was one amazing mix and twist of things that we are facing today and the beliefs about the end-of-the-world. I recognised the sources, and I loved how Science and Faith wearing interwoven together.The begging and middle were written in such a way that it felt like a horror story, which was perfect because of what happened to the planet and they thought they were the only ones left. Somehow there are answers somewhere but being the last humans on Earth makes our mind crazy wild.Great work. Felt what it was like to be in such a situation.

  • Dave
    2019-03-14 10:42

    I thought this was an ok read - the writing was decent for the most part. The protagonists get into and out of some very odd situations but the ending tries to explain why.Overall I wanted to finish it but am ambivalent about recommending it for some reason I am unable to explainI plan on reading a different book by the same author.

  • Meg
    2019-03-14 10:55

    At the beginning of this book, I couldn't put it down. The premise was interesting, and I thought to myself that this was going to be a great book. And then I came to the last quarter of the book and found myself looking to see how much I had yet to plod through. It was full of cliches and felt very rushed. On a positive note, I really liked the characters.

  • RobertStudabaker
    2019-03-05 10:46

    Old fashion sci-fi.The author writes like the writers during the heyday of science fiction writer u terms, Norton, d.electric Ray, Asimov, etc... and while reading it it reminds you of 2001: A Space Odyssey. A fast read.

  • Allan67
    2019-03-18 13:36

    I really had mixed emotions about this book. It was alright, but not outstanding in my opinion. The premise of returning to earth and finding no one there seemed to be a good concept. What would returning astronauts do? The really big issue was that the system "waveform" was undocumented and that no one understood it, yet they (who ever "they" are.) were making modifications to the system and had been for years. That blew the story for me. On that account, I give the story three stars.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-04 07:52

    Good book! Was not aware when I purchased it that it was Christian Fiction but it was very well done and had a great storyline.

  • Mary
    2019-03-09 13:54

    Hours of my life that I will not get back

  • Harry
    2019-03-22 07:40

    Fascinating readI couldn't put this story down. It kept me riveted with the action and vivid descriptions. Loved the characters and the way they were developed.

  • Fred Warren
    2019-03-04 08:55

    In Robin Parrish’s Offworld, four NASA astronauts–poster-boy mission commander Chris, multi-talented second-in-command Trisha, steely-nerved mission specialist Owen, and brash, impulsive pilot Terry–are enroute to Earth following an historic two-and-a-half-year mission to Mars.67 days to landing, they abruptly lose contact with Mission Control. As they get closer to Earth, they realize that all electronic evidence of human activity on Earth has ceased. No radio, no television, no e-mail, no bars on the cell phone.Then, their spacecraft loses power on re-entry and plunges Earthward, out of control. The End.Just kidding. The astronauts awaken, battered and bruised, but otherwise intact, on the runway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and their worst fears are confirmed: nobody’s home. Even the animals have disappeared. They access a reconnaissance satellite feed and discover a brilliant light shooting skyward from the vicinity of Houston, Texas. Commandeering a couple of abandoned vehicles, they start traveling toward Houston in search of answers.Eventually, they discover they’re not quite alone–they find Mae, an odd, homeless girl with an attitude, who might be connected to the mass-vanishing, but she seems as clueless as the astronauts. As they continue their journey, strange incidents multiply–weird storms, creepy “voids,” and shadowy followers. On top of that, Craig Chris is experiencing a series of flashbacks to an incident on Mars when he went missing and returned to base with several hours unaccounted for, and he’s beginning to remember what happened.The very fabric of reality seems to be unraveling, or perhaps our heroes are trapped in some bizarre hallucination–or worse.Offworld was quick-paced and full of action. It was a fun ride, and once it started rolling, it barely paused to let me catch a breath. I was familiar with a lot of the places Parrish described in the story, and I thought he did a pretty good job giving us the nickel tour of points of interest along Interstate-10.The characters were likable, though a bit stereotypical. I thought girl-enigma Mae, however, was very unique and interesting, though I wished Parrish would have let her open up a little more, especially when the mystery surrounding her was resolved.The story showcased lots of positive values, including loyalty, courage, self-sacrifice, integrity, and the importance of trust and honesty (or the problems that multiply from distrust and deception). Reference was made several times to Someone watching over our heroes, and judging by the number of hair-breadth escapes and miraculous survivals, I had to agree.My biggest complaint was that Offworld shut down my willing suspension of disbelief at several points, and that takes some doing in a story I like. There was the characters’ Wile E. Coyote-like resistance to injury, a few car stunts that would make Hollywood filmmakers blush, and a key element of the story that gave me a whole new perspective on deus ex machina. It was distracting, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story. Like I said, it was a fun ride.Bottom line, I think anybody who’s a fan of sci-fi actioners laced with a little mystery will enjoy Offworld.

  • Rachel Thomson
    2019-03-02 15:54

    Six months out, six months back, two years on the surface of Mars. For dedicated astronauts, scientists, and adventurers, three years is just enough time to accomplish the greatest expedition in the history of mankind — but it’s also a long time away from home.Christopher Burke shares his teammates’ eagerness to get home, home to a hero’s welcome, to family, to real food. When their ship, the Ares, loses contact with Houston several months before the return voyage ends, they figure it’s just a computer glitch onboard. Then comes the swirling black void spotted just before entering orbit, the system failure, the plummeting death of the Ares with its astronauts saved against all odds by an automated landing program at the Cape.Then the emptiness.Every man, woman, child, and animal on earth has disappeared.Determined to find out what has happened, Chris and his team borrow a couple of offroad vehicles and hit the freeways of the southern U.S., dodging pile-ups of empty cars as they journey toward Houston — source of a brilliant beam of light, and, they hope, of the answers they need. On the way they rescue a homeless girl (”Who do you think I am?” she asks; “You’re the fly in the ointment,” Owen answers), battle a ferocious storm, discover the enemy, and come to terms with secrets of their own.Action-packed, exciting, a veritable comic book in all prose, Offworld left me feeling like I’d just watched an action flick. Its characters make a great team, real people and likable, with definite foibles and follies. Parrish reveals his characters more through action and dialogue than through interior monologue, adding to the summer-blockbuster feel. His prose can be clunky (”Trisha piled out of the SUV” was a howler), and I couldn’t help feeling as though some editor somewhere had fallen asleep on the job — one doesn’t “withdraw” a gun for a fight, one draws it. But the writing does what it sets out to do, which is tell a whopping story and tell it well. For all their occasional bad verbs, Parrish’s action scenes are detailed, vivid, and adrenaline-pumping. There isn’t a single gory or otherwise objectionable scene from a moral standpoint, which makes the book particularly suited to young action fans.Readers looking for a strong Christian message won’t exactly find one here — the characters’ moment of epiphany, led up to by Chris’s habit of asking someone vague for “a little help here,” is that they’re not alone in the universe. Who else is with them and what that means to their personal lives is never really explored. The climax involves a spiritual element which I found a little out of place; had the rest of the book possessed a more mystical feel, I might have found it more fitting.All in all, Offworld is a good read, an exciting story, a fine alternative to sitting in another theatre for two more hours taking in action mixed with the world’s un-clean fun.

  • Victor Gentile
    2019-03-25 10:37

    I had the privilege of interviewing Robin Parrish, on our radio show "Kingdom Highlights", for his new book, "Offworld", published by Bethany House. Offworld is a book that keeps you guessing from page to page. Offworld asks the question how much trouble can four individuals get into when they are the only four individuals on the planet? Get ready Mr. Parrish has crafted a thrill ride filled with lots of action and suspense. Don't start this book late at night because it will be very difficult to put it down or stop thinking about it.For trivia buffs the first Twilight Zone had to do with an astronaut who returns to Earth and finds it empty and the beginning of the original Planet of the Apes practically begins with the crash that maroons the astronauts on the planet. Mr. Parrish has taken these elements and built his novel, Offworld. Returning from their mission to Mars Christopher Burke and his team crash land back on Earth to find it empty and that they are the last of humanity. Having landed in Florida they see a strange light in Texas and are drawn to it thinking that this light might solve the mystery of the missing mankind. So the intrepid foursome begin their journey across AmericaOffworld is a wonderful blend of Science Fiction and Mystery but at its heart it is a thriller. This foursome is in real trouble from page one and their danger grows from page to page. Like the cliffhanger serials they keep getting into trouble practically every five pages or so. The question the reader constantly will ask is "what is going on?"If I tell you anything more I will spoil the dynamics of this book. Offworld is so perfectly crafted that it is designed to be devoured and enjoyed by the reader so when you reach the end there is a very satisfied sigh of enjoyment and relief.Considering that this book is jam packed with thrills, suspense, deadly situations that you think there is no chance of escape you would wonder if there is room for God. I assure you Robin Parrish left room for Him in a very appealing manner; not overt, not too subtle but in a manner where the reader has to make a decision.I recommend this book highly. It delivers lots of action, suspense and thrills and brings you to a very satisfying conclusion.If you missed the interview for "Offworld" and would like to listen to it please go to where it is available On Demand.To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station www.kingdomairwaves.orgDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Antonio Urias
    2019-03-19 14:38

    This review and others are available on my my blog.Robin Parrish's Offworld is a page-turner, if nothing else. The novel opens with an astronaut collapsing during a dust storm on Mars! And it continues to deliver a never-ending series of intriguing mysteries and heart-pounding incidents. The astronaut, Christopher Burke's, inexplicable survival is quickly supplanted first by the astronauts loosing all contact with Earth, then by the terrible discovery that all life on Earth seems to have simply disappeared, including the animals. As the reader gets deeper and deeper into the novel, the mysteries get broader as well. I found myself reading more and more simply to figure out where Parrish was heading and if he would manage to tie up all his mysteries in a neat bow.This preoccupation with the concept and with figuring out the mysteries seems to have been shared by the author. The characters are for the most part cyphers. Some effort was made to give them all a backstory and believable relationships. There are two romantic subplots, one that flows relatively naturally, and the other that feels largely tacked on. The enormity of returning to an empty world after years in space is only lightly touched upon. Each character is granted a moment, and one is allowed to have an entirely rational (given the circumstances) breakdown, but this is not a character piece. It is the mystery that is important—the mystery, and the action sequences. There are hurricanes and dust storms, floods, and shootouts. This is a novel stuffed with incident but in some ways these action sequences are simply treading water until the people who can explain the plot show up.There is another word to describe Offworld that it would be remise of me to forget: Christian. This is Christian Science Fiction, and the author was as a journalist on the cutting edge of Christian culture. This is not every reader's cup of tea, and cards on the table, it isn't quite mine either. But I left this observation until the end because until the climax Christianity plays a subdued part in the novel. In the final pages, however, Parrish makes a spirited attempt to meld Hard SF and Christian Theology into an explanation for all the mysteries of the novel. I don't object to such a melding on principle, not if the author can make it work within the world of the story, but it is a very tricky combination and Parrish doesn't quite pull it off. Partly because it is a very tricky combination and would have to be done very very well for me to accept it. But also because it is too rushed. After an entire novel's worth of mystery and action, the actual explanation is done in a matter of pages. Far too quickly for the concept, and far too quickly for the climax. Offworld is a novel of ideas and of adventure that doesn't quite stick the landing.

  • Becky B
    2019-03-03 09:49

    The astronauts on board the Ares, first manned mission to Mars, return to Earth only to find it completely deserted. Or at least so it seems. There are no people or animals anywhere, and it is obvious there hasn't been anyone around for a while. Now the termination of communication with Earth two months ago seems to make sense. Command stopped talking to them because they vanished. Chris, Trisha, Terry, and Owen do all they can in Florida to try and figure out what happened. Thanks to a working satellite, they do notice a strange, extremely bright light emanating from somewhere around Houston, Texas, so they grab some vehicles and start working their way to Texas. The road there is peppered with unexpected findings and numerous hazards. And the closer they get, the more they realize that they need to get to the bottom of this. This is one of those books we've had in the library for a while and I keep looking at it thinking, "I should read that sometime." I snatched it up for Christmas break in case I got around to it. I cracked the cover two days ago before bed to give the first chapter a test, and 90 pages later had to tear myself away for sleep. I've read disaster/dystopia books before where the entire human race seems to have vanished or been wiped out, but this one manages to keep itself unique. It definitely has moments when it seems like it is following classic B sci-fi disaster movie motifs, but it doesn't fully follow them out. It does a good job of balancing getting to know the four astronauts along with exploring the perils of a deserted Earth. The root cause of the issue is also unique from anything I've ever seen/read, and the ending is definitely not the norm. (view spoiler)[They actually manage to get the population of the Earth to come back AND all survive. (hide spoiler)] Actually, looking back on it now from the ending, it reminds me more of a Stargate episode than anything else with the exploration elements melding to action/thriller elements, but still unique. Though this is published by a Christian publisher, the elements about faith are very light to the point of being vague, and definitely not preachy. If you want a clean sci-fi/dystopia with some thriller elements, this is a good pick.Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. There are some gun battles, knife fights, and other altercations towards the end. Throughout the book the four heroes run into all sorts of dangerous situations, with some injuries resulting. It is stated that some people are killed, but no gory details are given.

  • Shana
    2019-02-27 14:58

    I thoroughly enjoyed each of Parrish's four novels: "Relentless", "Fearless", "Merciless" (trilogy) and most recently, "Offworld." One word for his writing: ADDICTED. I love the way Parrish blends deeply rooted emotions alongside pulse-pumping action sequences involving characters who reveal so much while saying so little....every word necessary, every scene critical, every nuance a treasure. I'm typically a contemporary romance type of gal, but after reading reviews on for "Relentless," I became intrigued and Parrish does not disappoint in "Offworld" - far from it. As the relationships of each of the characters develop, both old and new, the intensity of the storyline creates a welcome thirst for more and the resulting reverberations of their decisions confirm that not only was the journey assertable, it was downright breathtaking. Perhaps people disappearing and a few lone astronauts left to solve a world gone wild may not be untouched storyline territory, but it's the interplay of man's quest to find his destiny - live for yourself? for others? It's this quest that can either ruin or make a life worth living and the essence of what captured me from page one.Although it's hugely tempting to see any one of Parrish's works made into a movie, it almost sickens me to think how "Hollywood" (so to speak) could potentially butcher his writing....often times, characters become watered down and their relationships lacking any depth...while action sequences take main stage bereft of any insight. I'm yet to read anything quite like Parrish where the pages fervidly leap to vivid pictures in my head so if movies are in the future for Parrish, I'll pray for authenticity. :)It's somewhat disheartening when readers are some how put off and/or form predetermined opinions simply knowing that his books are sold under the "Christian fiction/sci-fi/mystery" category. Read a novel for what it is....when an author of any other faith writes fiction, no one seems quick to form stereotypes and force a story into some circumscribed view of religion. The underlying message comes through loud and clear, life worth living is in no way a result of our own's the divine force at work in our lives and whether or not each person chooses to reject it or embrace it. No matter what your personal beliefs, I don't think anyone can argue with one of my favorite quotes from "Offworld" as stated by the character named Mae: "Life is poetry. Stop. Watch. Listen. There's poetry all over. And the thing about poetry? It don't write itself."

  • Rishika S.
    2019-03-20 11:01

    Offworld calls for a rating of 3.5 stars. It is a fast paced, edgy novel that has you turning the pages long into the night. A book that mixes science fiction with thrill and faith, it takes you right into the crux of the story, wasting little time on niceties. Characters that have their own secrets and quirks add to the thrill. Hints of secrets and twists present themselves often and make you look at everything that happens with the aim to try and read between the lines, and find the hidden meaning behind words and the curtained emotions behind expressions. I found the characters quite interesting, their personality changes in the face of apparent apocalypse not seeming too out of line with their initial sketch. In fact, one of the things that I really liked about Offworld was that you learn about the characters without realizing that you've just got a lesson in each person's history, a task that few authors manage to do so well. Robin Parrish certainly knows how to create a tale that unfolds itself as it moves along. With each twist that is solved, you find yourself waiting for the next solution. The story hits the ground running and doesn't slow down. An interesting concept, presented in a really good way that puts you right in the middle of the action and tension and that evokes the sense of urgency in the readers too.While Offworld had many things going for it, the end was anticlimactically disappointing. It wasn't the lack of action or tension; in fact, there was more than enough of that. It was just that the end was a little too convenient. Concepts and ideas were put forth, leaving the reader with little option but to accept them for what they are. While the events of the rest of the book were tied into a neat little bow, the end seemed to the hurried and a little like everything and everyone decided to be at the right place at the right time.I had, in fact, seen some pretty damaging reviews and some really supportive ones before I picked up Offworld. Having read the book, I can say that in spite of the ending, which is just slightly disappointing, the book is still one that makes for a really good read. Robin Parrish is a really good author who can pull you in right from the get go and I would definitely read more of his books. So if you love science fiction and fast paced end-of-the-world-books or if you're looking for an interesting and quick read, go for Offworld. It's a stand alone novel, complete in itself and won't disappoint!

  • James Korsmo
    2019-03-10 12:06

    An elite team of four astronauts returns to earth from a three-year mission to Mars to discover the planet deserted. No people, no animals. They are all alone. An eerie start to this intriguing sci-fi drama. Chris Burke and his team, puzzled by their situation, set out to find some answers. They discover that everyone on the planet appears to have vanished at the same precise moment about two months before their return. And there is a huge beacon of light emanating from near Houston, Texas. Something strange is going on. Their journey to Houston to discover the nature of their plight proves to be treacherous, first as they discover one lone survivor, Mae, wandering along the road. But the journey becomes dangerous as they begin to experience disasters that are both natural and that seem orchestrated to slow them down. Finally, as they head through Louisiana, they are cornered by what appears to be a group of elite military troopers, who are set on preventing Chris and his group from reaching Houston or interfering with whatever is happening. But Chris, Trish, Terry, and Owen are able to narrowly escape, driven by the knowledge that they may be humanity's only chance of survival. They finally discover the source of the light, a monstrous and experimental computer powered by a mysterious box. This cutting edge machine appears to have developed the capability of not only knowing the future but of manipulating it, allowing Colonel Roston and his team to program in a future where all of humanity is absent from the planet, allowing them ostensibly to force the world into a situation where peace is possible, as they try to dismantle the instruments of war around the globe. But this seeminly altruistic motive has with it some huge dangers, the biggest being that the machine may fall apart before a new future that includes all of humanity back on Earth is programmed in. And Chris and his team hurry to prevent that disastrous future from coming about, with the knowledge that even despite Roston's designs, some force has kept them in the game.Parrish's Offworld brings the reader into an interesting mystery, with good action and believable characters. In some ways it is a playful and fun challenge to think beyond the bounds of the everyday to a world where greater powers are at work. A fun read.Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy through their blogger reviewer program.