Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Review: Fjörgyn’s Tears

Welcome to a new project of mine! This ebook review is merely the first in what I hope will be a long term feature of this blog. My goal is to select three ebooks a week - one science fiction, one fantasy, and one in another genre - and review them. I hope you, my readers, will benefit from it as much as I will. Since I'll be randomly selecting all of the ebooks from Smashwords, they are almost guaranteed to be self-published and will most likely be available in whatever format you desire. You can always find the current ebooks of the week in the Recommended Reading section in the right sidebar.

So, now the first review - the science fiction novel Fjörgyn’s Tears by Mark Suddaby.

Cover

The ebook's cover was the first point that caught my eye. Even in a tiny thumbnail, the image and font loudly declare it as sci-fi. I do wonder where the author got that fascinating font.

Blurb


"When an extreme climate and dwindling resources collide, does humanity deserve to survive?"
This short blurb didn't do much to attract me. All it did was tag the novel as an "end of the world" sci-fi.

But when I clicked through, I found this long blurb:

"When an extreme climate and dwindling resources collide, does humanity deserve to survive?

"In 2061 the effects of changes to the global climate have become more severe than anyone imagined. With the northern hemisphere locked in freezing conditions, nations start to fight over scant resources. After a military coup, Britain, now a pariah state, watches from the sidelines as a polarised world tears itself apart.

"Joshua Grimaldi is a British climatologist working on the Eden Project when he stumbles across a radical solution to the inevitable clash of nations. With clandestine support and the backing of a sceptical Leadership, Joshua and a small team of British scientists set about delivering the Janus Protocol to a world locked in its final death throws. As Consumer-States make a last desperate bid to control the Supplier-Blocks, Joshua and a small community escape, just as tensions turn nuclear.

"Time after time, the inheritors of Joshua’s salvation finally see his dream realised, only to make a shocking discovery, which carries with it a dilemma. A dilemma so momentous that its outcome will determine not only who will inherit the Earth, but the very future of the human race. And all along, a shadowy presence that has been manipulating humanity for millennia, finally acts. Survival is the game and it isn’t only humanity that’s playing.

"Fjörgyn, Goddess of the Earth, looks on and weeps."

Now, this was what "sold" the novel for me. The crisis is outlined, a savior/hero is introduced, and the solution is presented as successful but with drawbacks. Now the twist comes at the end, "humanity is not alone", but exactly who is present? According to the title, a Norse goddess. That this novel combines science and myth intrigued me, so off I went to read the sample.

The Sample

First off, this book is 414 pages long which means the sample is a whopping 62 pages long (according to the online reader pagination). However, that didn't cover much. We're introduced to an Earth that's been drastically changed by a "Long Winter" similar to a mini ice age. And so the nations and unions of the world have shifted. Britain, the home of our protagonist, Joshua, is in neutral isolation having cut itself of from the rest of the world. The rest of the world is beginning to collapse politically and the possibility of future "gigastorms" (think hypercanes from "After Tomorrow") is in the forecast.

Joshua starts working on a "biome" project which aims to create a self-supporting bio-sphere. His ever present companion and manipulator Alice, an AI, gives him the solution to the problems threatening to destroy humanity - build an ark, stock it with human DNA and set a group of caretakers to oversee the process. The sample ends as he is presenting the idea to a government official.

In Conclusion

I would buy this book. In fact, the "how does it end?" may bug me into buying the book. It had me hooked and anxious from the first scene in the prologue where a Tibetan goatherd boy sees a dam collapse and the "magic" lights of the town below go out.

This book is long, but it uses its space well. There were a few characters introduced which left me wondering their purpose, but I have no doubts they'll be explained later. Not only is it well paced, but it is well written. In the sample of 62 pages I only counted three or four grammatical errors and only one was a total disaster. I suppose some might consider it a bit wordy, heavily laden as it is with technical jargon. But it is classified as hard sci-fi. So the jargon didn't seem overused.

My one pet peeve is all the unexplained technology, but that's because I like to know how everything works. However, the novel would have been burdened down by all the description so it is good the author chose to leave it out.

So, I will repeat myself. This a book you should buy...now. If I follow my own advice I'll post a follow up post with my reactions.

Click here to buy "Fjörgyn’s Tears".

Look forward to a fantasy review next!

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Anna, you won a prize in the Author's Giveaway. Head on over to my blog to see what it is you won!

    http://finvarrapenn.blogspot.com/2012/01/authors-giveaway-winners.html

    ReplyDelete

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