Two alien ships are traveling through the solar system. One is commanded by Himi-ni-Oado and the other by his brother Hald. They lost contact with each other and Hald’s ship was just about given up for lost. Then a message comes through.
Hald says they landed on a planet that looked good. But then they discovered a gray slime contained a deadly parasite and they brought it back to their ship. Almost everything in their society is decided by vote. Hald says a vote to commit suicide was almost unanimous with the survivors. Himi is waiting to see Hald’s ship blow up. It doesn’t happen and the theory is that there was a mutiny. The ship is headed for Earth.
On Earth scientists are excited about signals being received from the area of Jupiter. At first they’re thought to be from a comet…then two comets. Finally they get a visual and they know aliens are on their way. Of course there are different factions with their own ideas about how to greet the aliens. The aliens have sent video of what happened to them on the infected planet but no one understands what they’re saying or showing.
Astronaut Bud Sullivan takes a shuttle to check out the alien ship which is in orbit over South America. He sees a protrusion coming from the alien ship and is knocked unconscious. Several missiles have been fired at the ship. One is diverted and the other two are destroyed from the ground. The ship comes in for a landing and destroys a multi million dollar telescope. It’s next landing spot is in the Arizona desert.
The book gives the viewpoint of the aliens as well as the humans and how differently they see the events. Things get tense when the second ship shows up. This is a decent read even though the small sections about the personal relationships between the scientists appear to be there simply because the author or publisher thought some romance should be added. It’s really not needed. One interesting character is a millionaire religious man who thinks the aliens are here to save us all. Unlike many other books there aren’t any long, ranting speeches so the character is palatable.