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Containment [Kindle Edition]

Christian Cantrell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (785 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The colony on Venus was not built because the destruction of Earth was possible, but because it was inevitable…

A brilliant young scientist and one of the first humans born on Venus, Arik works tirelessly to perfect the science of artificial photosynthesis, a project crucial to the future of his home, V1. The colony was built on the harsh Venusian surface by the Founders, the first humans to establish a permanent extraterrestrial settlement. Arik’s research becomes critical when he awakens from an unexplained, near-fatal accident and learns that his wife is three months pregnant. Unless Arik’s research uncovers a groundbreaking discovery, V1’s oxygen supply will not be able to support the increase in population that his baby represents.

As Arik works against time, he begins to untangle the threads of his accident, which seem inextricably linked to what lies outside the protective walls of V1—a world where the caustic atmosphere and extreme heat make all forms of known life impossible. For its entire existence, Arik's generation has been expected to help solve the problems of colonization. But as Arik digs deeper and deeper, he discovers alarming truths about the planet that the Founders have kept hidden. With growing urgency and increasing peril, Arik finds himself on a journey that will push him to the limits of his intelligence and take him beyond the unimaginable.

Editorial Reviews Review

Containment is a classic hard-SF novel with carefully wrought world-building and an intriguing premise. -Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Sisterhood of Dune

From Publishers Weekly

“Cantrell’s debut takes a technically detailed, hard-SF look at possible planetary colonization of Venus…Cantrell has produced a thoughtful visualization of a possible future for humankind.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161218362X
  • Publisher: 47North; 47th edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007264H36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,234 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
240 of 257 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Cantrell has written a very tight story with Containment. The characters are believable. The references to modern science are accurate (at least the ones in my field were) and insightful. I felt like I was given just enough to connect with the main character and to understand his connection (or lack thereof) to the world around him. There was no extraneous fluff in this story which was appropriate for a tale about a space colony surviving on the bare necessities. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and started downloading more of his work as soon as I finished this piece.
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200 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to Asimov April 4, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I would compare Cantrell to Asimov in style and substance, which is high praise. Containment contains several of the key ingredients of classic science fiction. The technology, the people, the plot within a plot within a plot, and the questioning of what is real all made me feel like I was reading the work of an up-and-coming scifi genius. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scifi read.
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145 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABCs of Science Fiction: Asimov, Bradbury, Cantrell March 22, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished Containment and thoroughly enjoyed it! A first rate book with a riveting plot. Christian Cantrell's writing and storytelling are so polished, I'd rate it every bit as good as Asimov or Bradbury. This book is so interesting and very suspenseful. Although I'm "known" for guessing endings, the twist was a complete surprise. The clues were all there, I just didn't put them together. That's really refreshing. Except for work-sleep-eat, I couldn't put this book down. It's fast paced and gripping. You'll love it!
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exposition, exposition, some more exposition May 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll try not to spoil too much, but I really don't think you should read this so I'm not going to worry about telling you things that are revealed early in the book.

This is a pretty lousy book. To summarize in one word why, let me tell you this: exposition.

This isn't so much a novel as an imagining of a future world with various interesting future technologies that we might someday achieve. It isn't a story. It doesn't have characters. It has people-shaped props that allow the author to tell you about ideas he finds interesting, be they electronics, sociology, morality, or politics.

What "characters" there are are zero or one-dimensional. The main character is a genius, strong, good looking, and the pinnacle of human achievement. I mean the last part literally; he is called that by one of the leaders of his colony very early in the story. He has no flaw that is revealed during the story, and additionally has unique powers of the mind that make him the best programmer in history and also the most talented biologist. He also has a wife (with whom he has zero chemistry, although that may be intentional), a best friend (also no chemistry, this character's sole purpose is to do things the main character cannot do for one reason or another), and a father (for wise-sounding advice). Other faces you might meet are his teacher who told him to question everything, a sort-of creepy colony manager, and various red shirts.

Besides characters, Containment's plot is also nonexistent for the first fifty percent of the book. The first part is dominated by a fairly boring description of a stereotypical colony on Venus. Daily life and daily technology are the subject of almost continuous exposition.
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120 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too smart for his own good yet. September 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This author, Cantrell, took a very interesting idea for a plot and extended it into a potentially captivating story line with neat tech, a good dilemma, and likable and interesting characters, but then was overcome by his experience in IT: too many words that are not "action" and do not directly sustain the pace of the story. For instance he spends 4+ pages describing a new computer interface (replaces the mouse, keyboard, etc.) that, while related to plot nuance, did not require a full historic review of more than 1/4th this text. Likewise several chapters on the history of Space Exploration and Colonization. Also he tends to describe "about what happened" instead of actually running the active scene so we can directly experience it. Whoever compared him to Asimov should go back and reread Asimov, he was all about actually "running the scene" so a reader could live it directly. While a fine communicator, Cantrell needs to learn forget most of the background filler and trust his skills to write each moment as it happens. The best author examples of this are Iain Banks and Larry Niven, both pull you excitingly through new tech and surroundings via the action as it unfolds. Cantrell needs better editors who push him to cut the chatter and deliver the electricity of the action.
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81 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Conclusion May 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To begin, I guess I would say that I was surprised at all of the very highly ranked reviews out there. Many of the reviews talk about how well the story is written, how tightly the plot is woven, and the overall quality of the science fiction. However, the book doesn't end, and this left me feeling cheated that I had committed time to reading a book without a conclusion. In fact, the ending came so quickly that I thought the Kindle edition must have been missing sections that appeared in the print version. It just didn't seem plausible to me that an editor would allow a book to be submitted without it being finished. The best analogy I can think of, would be reading a Sherlock Holmes novel in which Homes states to Watson that the conclusion is "elementary", and then the book ends, leaving the reader to figure out how the crime was actually committed.

This feeling of abruptness started to occur about halfway through the book, right at the same time as the plot starts to grab you. As mentioned in several other reviews, there are several very interesting twists, and they are all very compelling. The reader finds themselves with lots of questions, and trying to figure out what is happening. However, there is one plot twist which is illogical, considering that the main characters are all a group of scientists, who have been extensively studying their environment and performing experiments for the past twenty years. I don't want to give away any surprises from the book, but basically there is something different about the characters' environment which should be glaringly obvious to any individual who is a scientist, and is doing regular testing on their environment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci-fi book
I don't usually read sci-fi books but this story kept me interested and wanting more. If you like conspiracy or sci-fi stories then you will enjoy this book.
Published 3 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, tough storyline.
While the book is absolutely fantastic, it gets a little tough when Cantrell jumps forward and backward in time. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Justin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept you wanting to keep reading it.
Published 5 days ago by Kenneth Finke
2.0 out of 5 stars ... tech info and scientific explanations that made me feel like I was...
Too much tech info and scientific explanations that made me feel like I was back in school. Not enough devoted to the story.
Published 8 days ago by xsk8mom
2.0 out of 5 stars eh
Started really good then got extremely wordy then compelling then done. This book needed less of a muddled middle and more of a clear end
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Colony on Venus?
In the distant future, man will try to colonize the solar system. If the planet is not destroyed by polluting the atmosphere or nuclear war, there may be a catastrophic event such... Read more
Published 11 days ago by N. P. Jacobsen
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting plot-line, but too many extraneous and complicated...
Interesting plot-line, but too many extraneous and complicated explanations of why things are the way they are.
It distracts from the story line.
Published 25 days ago by Michael Bixler
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Check
The creativity unraveled in this story is contagious. This is a scientifically inspirational, educational novel. Upon reaching page 200 it felt like this book should never end. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Vlad B.
5.0 out of 5 stars One word: AWESOME
This book is a rare combo of realistic facts and sci-fi impossibility that blew my mind! Totally worth picking it up!!
Published 1 month ago by Tierra
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Tale of the Future
This is a complex story line that jumped around and back and forth too many times,. I had problems putting the book down and then resuming it after a day or two. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Samuel J. Dechter
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More About the Author

Christian Cantrell is a science fiction writer and software developer living in Northern Virginia. You can find him on Twitter (@cantrell) or Google+ (christian.cantrell).

Visit Christian's blog at

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Containment is not a new release
Agreed. Not sure what's new in this re-release, other than the cover, but anyone can plainly see that there are hundreds of reviews from the past few years, not the past few days.
Aug 8, 2012 by dextorboot |  See all 2 posts
Spoiler alert! I talk about the ending Be the first to reply
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