Back to catching up on some of the reviews I owe to patient authors!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars (more like 4 and a half, but they won’t let me do that).
At the end of the twenty first century, the problems we foresee in our current day are coming to pass – our beloved planet is groaning beneath the burden of over-population, and (surprise, surprise) politicians have failed to deliver a ‘greener’ way of life. They are still commissioning studies to predict the effects of global warming along with pollution and dwindling resources, whilst in the mean time mopping up after the increasingly frequent natural disasters.
In the meantime, the scientists whose studies predict the inescapable conclusion that things have long since gone past the point of no return, set about a visionary project designed to save at least a portion of humanity.
Project Noah is a fantastic piece of speculative fiction that doesn’t shy away from the unpalatable. Each chapter begins with a live news feed delivered from the site of the world’s latest catastrophe, before moving into the character-driven story. The science is very believable, with advances mirroring the way in which many of man’s greatest scientific discoveries have come about – by accident, often as an off-shoot of something else entirely. At the same time, although the science is essential to the core of the tale, Martyn manages to successfully make this a story about people.
The prose and dialogue are excellent (despite a number of small typos), and I found it very easy to visualise events which, alongside the inexorable drive towards the ultimate conclusion (the building of the space arc), twist and turn unexpectedly with politics and corporate conspiracies, not to mention the odd bit of sabotage.
For me, the slight niggle was in the level of technology at the start of the book which felt, with a few exceptions, very modern day, as did speech patterns, daily routines, transport etc. For a book set more than eighty years in our future, I’d have expected more change.
Would I recommend it?
If you are looking for action and adventure, then this is not for you. If near future speculation with great depth of characterisation is to your taste, then most definitely, yes.
[…] previously reviewed another of Ian Martyn’s SF novels, PROJECT NOAH, and enjoyed it, so when he asked me if I would review this novelette, I was more than happy to […]