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Publisher's Summary

It’s late September 2019 when a young astronomer working at the Haleakala Space Observatory in Maui, Hawaii, accidentally spots a black dot in the night sky that is occulting the stars that lie behind it. The Earth-sized black sphere is in our solar system and is calculated to be closely trailing Earth by only 75 million miles. And it is on the same ecliptic plane.

NASA launches an unmanned probe to Earth’s nearest neighbor, given the name ILK-87b. The images coming back from the black planet both shock and amaze those inside the halls of NASA.

Curiosity, fear, and dread overcome insiders as infrastructure has been detected on the black mass. Scientists are confounded as infrared telescopes are not detecting a heat signature. After a secret meeting of the G8 world leaders is held, an international manned mission is scheduled. 

Prior to the scheduled manned mission, a secret satellite orbiting the planet, now dubbed Black Earth, detects light emanating from a triangular structure with pentagon-shaped corners. When astronauts finally arrive, two of them, Dr. Carrick "Rock" Michaels and Dr. Kaley "Kinzi" London, are dispatched to investigate.

When they arrive at the triangular megaplex, they are shocked when an exterior airlock door opens. What the two find on the other side will change everything we know about man’s origins on Earth and how climate change decided the fate of a once-great society named Zenith.

Inside of the structure called The Triad, Carrick and Kinzi stand face-to-face with a 115-year-old man named Erik, and he greets the two by saying, “What took you so long?” Erik tells them the story of Zenith and its mass migration to Earth, beginning 6,000 years ago.

As the astronauts are preparing to depart for their journey back to Earth, Carrick shocks them by saying that he will remain on Black Earth. Over the next 13 months, Carrick will learn the history of Zenith and what prompted its mass migration to Earth.

©2020 Michael Cook (P)2020 Michael Cook

What listeners say about Black Earth

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Great story and moving

Great story and quite moving in parts. Also a bit of a lesson what could happen to our world.

1 person found this helpful

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Great read!

This book has so many elements that make it a great read! Very informative and relevant to our current time. I immediately found myself deeply drawn to the main characters, and felt so sad when the story was finished. (I hope there will be a continuation of the story that follows this book up!) Although there is very cool science and space information to digest in this book, I wouldn't label it sci-fi only. History, romance, and the unbelievable bond we share as humans are all part of this intriguing and well written novel. I have read the paperback, and was very impressed with the narrarated version on Audible. It really brought the story to life. I am not sure what William L. with the one star took issue with, but I completely disagree with him on this one. Looking at his past reviews for other books, it seems he has a pattern of leaving the same type of review for many other books. I encourage you to give it a listen and not let that review sway you. You won't regret it!

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major disappointment

struggled to make it to chapter 10, then gave up. childish. just childish. no amount of senseless cursing and generous use of f-bombs can compensate for poor adolescent writing. at my second try, at the 3/4 mark it turned into a radical leftist Marxist diatribe on climate change, countries with borders controversy, paranoid racism, and tribalism. what a messed up waste of a book written by a pantywaste effeminate goober. the narrator cadence is monotonous five word splurts continuously.