The At Boundary’s Edge team has narrowed our original allocation down from 28 books to 7 “Quarterfinalists”, all of which we are now reading in full and scoring out of 10 points. The top three books will move forward as semifinalists. As always, this is my own review and reflects only my own individual opinion and score, not that of the team
As the first round winds down to a close in the next week, I’m back with ‘quarterfinalist’ review 5 out of 7! Today I’m talking about another book that I voted to read in full, and feel like overall it was a positive decision.
Bookish quick facts:
- Title: Earthship
- Series: N/A
- Author: John Triptych & Michel Lamontagne
- Published: Self, 2021
- Length: 578 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐✨ or 6.5/10 for SPSFC purposes. I recommend for fans of apocalyptic stories like 2012
Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads
Our world will be destroyed. Only a chosen few can escape.
In the near future, a cataclysmic collision with a rogue planet destabilizes the sun, causing an exponential increase of its output. With the ever-increasing heat, life on earth will be extinguished within a decade.
As the global crisis deepens, it falls on a handful of individuals who will determine whether humanity survives. NASA scientist Dr. Olivia Quinn must outwit a corrupt government system and warn the public before it’s too late. Veteran astronaut Valerie McKinnon and her son Sawyer are in a race against time to build a space ark that could rescue countless lives. And Armand Balkan, a cutthroat trillionaire who seeks to maintain his empire by any means possible, could either save or doom them all.
I generally enjoyed reading Earthship and consider it a slightly above average self published work. It has super short chapters, lots of action, moves forward quickly, and covers a huge scope of storytelling through many different plotlines.
The thing with end of the world plots though is that there are only so many ways to tell that story, and this one took it on a global.scale. The downside is that there’s a verifiable metric ton of head hopping that left me confused at times. There are tons of names to keep track of, multiple big storylines, and at the end of the day there are many loose ends trailing off into space.
The characters are easy to root for but there are just way too many. This would have made a great movie but trying to compact it into a book would have been better served with a more streamlined plot. Each point of view added something to the story but definitely were not necessary. The first six, possibly 7 chapters were all from different perspectives and it made my head reel. Also towards the 3/4 mark they threw in a rather large religious cult storyline that changed the tune of the book and added even more complications. I have mixed feelings on it including that the book already had enough going on and that I couldn’t really believe how influential the cult got,
Regardless, I love a good end-of-the-world plot. 😆 Earthship tackles issues like the building of space stations and generation ships, who survives, who dies, what do the people remaining behind have to deal with? It doesn’t really go hard into moral debates though, just mentions these themes as a matter of fact. It’s equal parts exciting, gory, sad, and properly horrifying at times. I liked the characters but never had time to get attached to any of them and they were all 2-dimensionally static as this was a pure action flick. I am ok with that, I would rather read big disasters and military coups than character growth, but I also like having something to grab onto.
Technically speaking, the book has a fairly good presentation. It was at least spell checked although it had more than a few word placement errors. I like the cover. One of my biggest qualms was the passing of time not being shown except by character comments. I think if months or years are going to go by in between these short chapters, it’s best to show dates.
There’s a lot of inconsistency in character motivations too. With time passing randomly and no development it was often hard to place characters from one appearance to the next. He changed chapter styles too towards the end of the book, going to multiple points of view within one chapter. Again, an exciting read if you don’t follow details too closely.
Overall – the less you think about this one the better. For an action flick in book form it provided a proper amount of entertainment. The ending left a lot of loose ends as some space operas will, but I think we should have had a little more general closure. It’s been designated as a stand alone so I would have loved an epilogue. A good idea that ended up falling flat on execution.
Earthship is a good action story that had way too much going on. I read it quickly and enjoyed it but can also pick at issues all day. I would recommend for fans of action, adventure and apocalypse type fiction.
Thanks for checking out my book review of Earthship by John Triptych and Michel Lamontagne. A free copy was provided for SPSFC judging purposes but I found my copy on Kindle unlimited. As always, all opinions are my own 🚀