Published by Harper Collins on May 19th 2015
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction, General, Genetic Engineering, Science Fiction
What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remains . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
First, let’s get the title pronunciation for Seveneves out of the way, it’s Seven Eves. Yeah, if I hadn’t ‘read’ the audiobook I never would have gotten that. Prior to starting it, I keep reading it as ‘Sevenses’ (Like multiple sevens…). I know Book Worm Problems.
Anyway, despite the rather awkward title, Seveneves is a phenomenal masterwork of hard science fiction. It reminded me of The Martian because it takes highly technical science details and makes them exciting. It brings science closer to the reader, which is especially astounding when that reader is me, a liberal arts focused attorney. I like science, but in my every day life I don’t science (or math, for that matter). So when a book can bring astronomy, engineering, biology, etc and help me to understand them better in some way – without the dryness of a textbook – well, I’m thrilled. It’s unlike The Martian in that there are many more characters and much more going on.
The story itself is excellent as well, it starts with the moon being broken into seven pieces by some unknown ‘agent’… then a popular scientist, reminiscent of Neil deGrasse Tyson, realizes that all hell is about to break loose on Earth in about two years – at which point the world gets to planning. It’s full of action, suspense, and spacewalking with added bonuses of politics and sociology to boot.
I thought this was a fantastic read. It’s a chunkster for sure, but I think every page is worth it.
As to the audio, it was well done and not distracting from the story – which is exactly what I look for in my audiobooks. I’m not sure the switch between a female and male narrator for part two of the book was necessary, but in the end it worked.
What about you, Reader? Have any real science people taken a gander at Seveneves? How does it sound?