The fourth book in the “I, Human” series by Vito Veii picks up exactly where the third one left off. Captain Marcus, the android Vlen, and their entire fleet continue their journey towards the most distant planets of the galaxy. As they advance, they reach more dangerous places, and they find out some of the planets they want to explore are too hostile to sustain human life. All the while, the darkness at the edge of the galaxy grows even bigger and stronger, and it even starts influencing those who dare look upon it through the telescope.
One of the things I liked most about the fourth book is the symbolism. There is a scene, for instance, when Captain Marcus has a dream. Actually, it is more of a vision because everything he sees later proves to be real. He sees the darkness that threatens the entire universe take the form of Death, who is playing cards with Mephistopheles. When he wakes up, the Captain feels ill, and he is cured by Padre. So, the darkness tried to possess Marcus just like an evil spirit would do. As a reader who really likes stories where the good characters have to face truly challenging threats, I found this idea very clever. The darkness is more than a mystery. The Captain realizes that it is unpredictable and even more dangerous now that he knows it can take over someone’s mind.
The way the author describes the new planets will never cease to amaze me. For example, Dias is the most distant planet in the solar system, and it is incredibly hostile. But there is more to it than that: it is a ghost planet, and together with its moon, it seems that it acts like a shield that protects the entire solar system from outside threats. No matter how many probes the Captain sends, it seems impossible to explore properly, which makes it even more interesting and intriguing.
However, my favorite part was Padre’s sermon. I liked how the concept of human nature was exposed and explained, and it proved to me once again that the author has a unique way with words. As Padre says, the nature of man is determined by his will, which is why people always have to be careful what they want, because those are the things that define them. Once you will something, you also have to be prepared for the consequences, and that’s one of the most powerful messages this novel conveys. This time, the book ends in a cliffhanger. Now I can’t wait to read the fifth installment to find out what happens next.