The Aquila and its crew return to Earth after a two-year mission in space. As they awake from cold sleep they realize that there are problems with their ship that Mission Control should have taken care of. Trying to reach Mission Control gets no response. Then they notice that the green areas of Earth are now red. Mission Control or not, they have to land.
After most of the crew survive the landing, they discover that the world is a much different place. A plant cancer has been used as a bio weapon and all of the Earth's crops have been affected. With no food growing, global population plummeted.
The crew finds a message from their old general mentioning a contingency plan and a meeting date in a California ghost town. With some time to spare, the crew splits up to try and find pieces of their old lives before returning to the meeting place at the end of the book.
Written by Laurence James (author of the first thirty-odd Deathlands books), this is an interesting tale of survival and discovery in a devastated, but possibly healing, world. Much of the action is performed off-stage but there is still plenty in the book. Many of the usual pitfalls of such fiction abound such as everyone seems to be good at wasting ammunition and no one seems to have figured out the long-term advantages of bows.
Still, a pretty good tale with an interesting plot full of surprises and cliff hangers. There are only three books in this series (Deep Trek and Aurora Quest being the others).