I’m not very good at writing book reviews, so I’ll make this one short and sweet. If you like good science fiction, I highly recommend Spin by Robert Charles Wilson.
Set in more or less present day times, on one otherwise normal day Earth is suddenly enclosed by a protective shield. The shield blocks out the sun and the stars; an artificial light fills the sky and warms the Earth. Space probes are able to traverse the shield and they discover that it has produced a time dilation effect — one year inside of the shield is equivalent to hundreds of years on the outside. Time passes, and the Sun begins to expand as a prelude to ultimately burning out altogether. The Earthlings decide to terraform and then colonize Mars, which happens (from their vantage point) in the space of a few years. A few brave pioneers make Mars their new home, and one day a Martian returns to Earth with some miracle drugs and a plan to scope out the rest of the galaxy using bioengineered replicant space probes in a von Neumann ecology. Along the way, those Martian miracle drugs are used to turn a few humans into “fourth stage” life forms.
A good read, with plenty of action and just enough science to make it sci-fi!