Extinction, Ray Hammond
Rating: 4 Stars
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Tags: Political, Climate Change, Potential Apocalypse
Length: 608 Pages
Purchase At: amazon
Only one quarter into the 21st century and our planet is displaying disturbing symptoms: storms, floods, mud-slides, tornadoes and blizzards afflict the globe’s surface, while heatwaves, droughts and deep-freeze are regular occurrences. Not to mention volcanoes and earthquakes. Many believe that mankind’s consuming lust for economic growth is fast wrecking the world, while others insist these changes are all part of the planet’s natural cycle. Whatever the truth, the most alarming factor is that the Earth is beginning to tilt on its axis … and worldwide panic is looming.
As governments, experts, corporations and disruptive forces squabble to be heard, it is up to individuals to seek a solution to the most horrifying geophysical scenario we have ever faced.
This book is about the build-up leading to, and the aftermath therefrom, an Earth climatic Armageddon. It is expertly written. The political wrangling, dirty tricks and underhanded tactics employed within the storyline of this novel are all chillingly believable. To quote Underwood, the last President Of The United States Of America;
“… My government was not only a champion of climate management, we ignored, even suppressed, the warnings we were given. ‘For that reason I now relinquish any vestige of my office that may remain. I formally resign as President of any American population or nation that may have survived. May God forgive me.”
Perhaps it would work if we substituted “fossil fuels” for “climate management” and “Trump” for “Underwood”. The author nailed conveying the sense of hopelessness and depression experienced by the World’s disadvantaged. Whilst, at the same time, conveying the good fortune experienced by the “lucky ones” and the opulent lifestyles of the under one percent of the World’s most privileged.
The author has also done an excellent job with the science underpinning the work. The climate control mechanism and its adverse volcanism effects, due to its interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field, was made to sound quite plausible. The deleterious effects to human physiology of prolonged exposure to (near) weightlessness, resulting from actual research constantly being conducted upon the ISS, was expertly woven into the book. It would have been nice, IMO, to have included a mention of either using vehicle rotation (centrifugal force) or greatly reduced transit times, to counter this effect upon humans having travelled or who would be travelling to/from Mars.
So, why only four stars? Mainly due to, IMO, the incongruous post-apocalyptic behaviours of the CEO of Ergia, namely, racked with guilt and totally suicidal. Trust me, people who become and/or remain CEO’s of extremely successful, all-encompassing multi-national corporations are capable of justifying any and all decisions deemed necessary to maintain the organisational/personal status quo. If he had lost dearly beloved family members then maybe, but he was single and apparently without children. In other words, he appeared to be a totally self-contained, along with being a self-centred individual (and please do not take this as a criticism or adverse value judgement of people who may be this way in real life, one of my closest friends, of over forty years, is such a person).
It also didn’t help, being an Aussie, a New South Welshman to boot, that I have to point out that it’s not Sidney in New South Wales, Australia, it’s Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. While Extinction is a good book, recommended reading, a few things let it slip from 5 to 4 stars.
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Karen February 5, 2019 at 7:17 am
Our government is the same. It’s frustrating, It does sound like an interesting and topical book.
This is definitely my favourite review of yours so far, John.
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I usually avoid all things political in fiction. As an American. I get enough of it just by watching the news. With that being said, this looks like an interesting book, the kind that would make you think. Our current administration doesn’t believe climate change is real, so there you go. *bangs head*
Another great review, John.