Top positive review
One person found this helpful
A sugar coated education
on May 3, 2012
After reading and enjoying Plait's previous book "Bad Astronomy" I was naturally encouraged to give his next book a try. "Death from the Skies!" had an intriguing and irresistible premise and I was quickly hooked.
The book details the many ways that civilization, humanity, all life, and indeed the very planet itself could be destroyed by astronomical events from asteroid or comet impacts to the end of the universe itself. Each chapter is introduced by a short fictional vignette which brings catastrophe down to a personal level.
As interesting as the premise was the real value of the book turned out to be the education provided. My personal astronomical knowledge had become quite dated over the past few decades. Plait's book was a great way to be brought up to date and left me seeking out more detailed works.
Plait's style of writing probably won't be to every taste but I found it engaging and inviting. The clever footnotes dealt out humor, irony, sarcasm, and much else in rapid succession.
The Kindle edition was well formatted and everything worked well. A curious feature was that the captions to the illustrations were rendered as text instead of being part of the graphic which made them searchable. The major flaw was the entirely useless "index" with page numbers completely omitted even though this edition tracked the print page numbers. Indices are somewhat redundant with searchable text but if included they should be useable. The appendix of nearby supernova candidates (in graphic format) is also too small for easy reading. The epilogue has a table in it which can best be read by reducing font size.
Highly recommended. I look forward to Plait's future books.