Review: Primordial Threat by M.A. Rothman

Great Science Fiction that has you rooting for the good guys and your jaw dropping for the science! I wanted to read this because it reminded me of the types of books I read as a young sci-fi fan. Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven, Exit Earth by Martin Caidin, Shiva Descending by Benford & Rotsler, and especially a little known series called America 2040 by Evan Innes (aka Hugh Zachary). Yes, some of them were total cheese, but I loved them at the time. I was not disappointed!

This one has it’s foibles, but I still enjoyed reading it very much, and intend to read more like it. I think there will be a sequel to this one which I’ll definitely pick up when it’s released.

On a personal note (which I’ve been dropping into the blog more lately), my various plans continue to fall through, so I’m sweeping the mess of my ideas into a pile and looking for a rug to cover them with while trying to come up with more. The big one, the computer upgrades I tried to get set up to run that 3D CAD program I mentioned before, were not compatible with my PC This means I would have to buy a new (expensive) computer to go along with the already expensive Solidworks package… *sigh* These expenses are not in the cards at the moment, unfortunately. Oh well, that’s life. A good excuse to get back to writing I guess… unless someone really rich wants to gift me $10k?

Anyway… I’ll just be over here holding my breath </sarcasm> while you Happy Readers check out this review!

Amazon’s Blurb:

The year is 2066 and the world is oblivious to the threat it faces.

The fate of humanity lies on the shoulders of Burt Radcliffe, the new head of NASA’s Near Earth Object program.

He’s been rushing the completion of DefenseNet, a ring of satellites that are both part of an early-warning system as well as the means to eliminate incoming threats.

Yet Burt knows that despite the world’s best efforts, nothing can be done about the alert he’s just received.

Coming out of deep space is a danger that’s been approaching since the dawn of time. A black hole. An unstoppable threat that promises death for all in its wake. 

Dave Holmes was a modern-day Einstein. As the original architect of DefenseNet, he’d had visions of this Primordial Threat before he disappeared, yet he’d left behind no details on how the problem might be solved.

Can Holmes be found, and if so, will his solution even work?

The world has less than a year to find out.

And now my take on the book…

Primordial ThreatPrimordial Threat by M.A. Rothman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel gave me some great flash-back moments to when I was young and reading exciting science based sci-fi that drew me into the genre. I only wish I still had the naivete of an uncritical reader so that I could ignore the little foibles I saw… Not many, but a few. The book is a winner though because I was into it from cover to cover.

A little less than 50 years from now, the Earth is in the path of a black hole and nothing can stop it. So what do you do? You science the shit out of it! And that is all the details I can tell you without spoilers.

So, I’m going to get past my ‘complaint’ phase first to get it out of my way. I like this book, and I’m giving it 4 stars because I WANT to give it 4 stars. I refuse to let my nit-picky side bring it down lower, but I at least have to acknowledge what those nits are, so here goes. There are a lot of convenient pre-emergency events that had to have happened for there to be a chance at survival in this situation (for values of ‘survive’). There are at least TWO different Deus Ex Machina moments that had me shaking my head. There are plot points that are contrived to engender those. The ‘villian’ (not the black hole) is also a contrivance to keep the difficulty level set to high. Also, the ‘As you know, Bob’s’ are an absolute plague at the start. These are the ‘critical reader’ points that I wish I could be less attentive to like when I was younger. I would never have even noticed this 25-30 years ago.

Oh, and no spoilers, but the last chapter should have been left off. It’s a cliffhanger setup for a sequel revealed at the last minute. It should have been used as the prologue of the the next book instead. I believe I would have had that opinion even as a youngster.

The character development is great, and I was truly invested in the welfare of the top six. The plot is decent. There are a few hurry-up-and-get-to-the-point moments of ‘as-you-know-Bob’ type exposition at inconvenient moments that affected the pacing, but that is offset by the next challenge being hot on its heels. The science used is backed up fairly well, and the afterword of the book even gives a summary of the main ideas as they exist in reality today. The pace of the story is good and kept me wanting to read the whole thing. The writing style and descriptiveness is on par with any comparable sci-fi book you might find out there.

The best part of the book is the ‘big concept’ science that goes into the survival plans, and how they are pursued for implementation. You just gotta love … well, again, no spoilers … but trust me, if you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll love it!

I give this one four stars and call it a Big Think Nostalgic Read!

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Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

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