Since becoming a published (and now award winning) author, I have met some wonderful and highly talented authors within the Mid-South area and even beyond. One such author is Stephanie Osborn who resides in Huntsville, AL and is the author of the book BURNOUT: The Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. After listening to Stephanie’s pitch about the book during the course of attending several seminars and sci-fi conventions, I finally decided to give her book a try. To put it quite bluntly, I was not disappointed at all. If you are a lover of all things NASA and sci-fi, then this book is right up your alley. What makes the book even better is that Osborn is, literally, a rocket scientist (used to work for NASA).
After a space shuttle crashes during its return to Earth, the novel’s protagonists, “Crash” Murphy and Dr. Mike Anders, both employed in scientific world for their respective countries (Murphy – USA and Anders – Australia) decide to research the reasons behind such a terrible loss. What they discover is more than they bargained for, for not only do they realize the crash is not what it appears to be, but it also answers a philosophical question we have been asking for years: “Are we alone?” Secrets created by the government, lies told by friends and enemies, and the unexplained now suddenly explainable are all within this gem of a page turning book.
Osborn, from the beginning, straps you within the seat of the shuttle and refuses to let you go until the very end that will have you scratching your head and re-reading the pages several times just to make sure you did read it right. She tells a story that truly could and can happen within the realm of what we know in science and space exploration and was even “questioned” about her accuracy in describing the shuttle’s crash by higher upps. Her writing makes you feel as though you are there with Murphy and Anders as they piece together the entire work behind a supposed tragedy. Although Osborn is retired from her scientist days, she still enjoys what she is so obviously good at in teaching high school students the mysteries and fully experimented theories of science.
I will admit that, once I finished reading the book, I e-mailed my good friend with questions and my own pieced together theories about certain events of the book, events such as “Why did Dr. Blake continue to take water and beef jerky down that tunnel almost every day?” I thought I had it right but after reading her responses, I was completely off track while giving her a good laugh. Nevertheless, that question and many more are in my mind and will stay there for quite some time until the sequel is released; I, too, want to know the secrets behind the BURNOUT.