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Flat Earth: Book One of the Flat Earth Trilogy Paperback – May 18, 2020
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"The Fifth Doll" by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village. | Learn more
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Flat Earth by Brent Golembiewski is lots of fun, reminding me of a roller coaster that carries the reader up and down endless steep hills and twists and turns, never slowing down until the end. The roller coaster in my analogy is the plot. This book is never boring. It also has several strong characters that make the reader want to tag along for the ride to see what will happen to them. The story is very imaginative and fresh. Sure, I compared it to a couple of popular titles at the beginning of this review, but that was only for reference. Flat Earth felt completely original to me and kept me guessing about where the story was going till the very end. Flat Earth is good clean fun and a book that I highly recommend.
* Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
One night can change everything, and in just one night the meteors will fall from the sky. The life of the young farm boy James will change forever, as he discovers himself...and what lies beyond the wall to the west.
In mid-century small-town America, there isn't much to think about except for local gossip, baseball, and farming - but certainly not what lies beyond the wall in the west. Told by their government and schools that the wall is there to protect them, the townsfolk don't ask questions. This huge wall to the west of town is an accepted part of life, the metal structure goes on and on over the horizon. The locals accept and fear the wall, some of them are afraid to even approach it. James isn't afraid though - he's curious.
During a meteor shower like no one had ever seen before, a huge metal object thunders to earth on his family wheat farm and James is set on a path very different to the quiet one he had imagined for himself all his life.
When James arrives at school the day after the meteor shower and Carol, his long-term girlfriend, doesn't seem to remember their date of the previous night which included the terrifying experience of being narrowly missed by falling chunks of space rock - he figures something strange is going on. Deciding to investigate further, James discovers the fallen metallic object on the furthest reaches of this family farm and delves straight into investigating the strange thing and where it could have come from.
Fighting side by side with comrades from worlds away, James needs to fight against his own chip-installed beliefs - as well as against replicants - to save Earth.
Blending sci-fi and dystopia with home-town 1950's Americana, Golembiewski manages to create an odd amalgamation of conspiracy interlaced with an innate hope. The way he writes is truly engaging, with characters who immediately draw you in with their genuine likability and good humor.
An undoubtedly fun read, Golembiewski's work is lively and entertaining. For a Young Adult novel, the world is remarkably complex, with social and scientific discussion bridging the gap between the real world and that of fiction. Flat Earth is an excellent launch for the series and should find some long-term fans in both the Young Adult genre as well as more broadly in sci-fi.
A well-built world complete with great characters and an engaging storyline, Golembiewski's Flat Earth is an entertaining out of this world adventure.
- Naomi Bolton, Many Books
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Paperback : 474 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1734887508
- ISBN-13 : 978-1734887501
- Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 1.19 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Baba Jaga Books (May 18, 2020)
- Reading level : 13 - 18 years
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,591,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #461 in Teen & Young Adult Space Opera
- #2,495 in Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction Action & Adventure
- #4,931 in Colonization Science Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I didn't discover that I wasn't the demographic (young adult? teen? Juvenile?) this book was made for until I was about 10-20% into the book. I came back to see if I somehow had read the reviews for the wrong book because it was already full of issues (which I'll start to describe shortly). I've read plenty of other series for young adults and found them quite good so i wasn't thrown off by that.
I can't quite describe the writing style. It just put me off. Something similar to "J sat at the bench. J ordered a hamburger. J ate the hamburger with ketchup. J thought the hamburger was good. J wiped his mouth. M smiled at J. J got up." Now to be fair not every paragraph is written like this, but enough to annoy me and make this work less enjoyable to read.
Possible spoilers below. I'll try to limit them without giving away the main plot, but I'll be going into some character detail and specifics below.
So the main story revolves around a high school kid who discovers that the world isn't exactly as he has always believed. Life in America's 50s is fairly normal with the exception of a variety of things they might be briefly explained later in the book. Baseball, lifestyle, diners, even the 4th of July. Then there are things the author gets wrong. Things like treating cars as common things like we have today, when in fact most people couldn't afford even one car back then.
Science is weirdly handled at the authors whim. We find out that we aren't in the 50's after all, Science is far more advanced. Mind control and memory wipes are a thing, but we easily murder people instead of doing a memory wipe on them. Makes no sense.
The characters are all teenage kids in high school. Yet ONE character is an excellent pilot, spy, hand to hand combat expert, has unerring aim with almost every hand weapon ever made, can read engineering schematics, pilots spaceships, is part of an underground movement to overthrow an entire government, and can hack code. Enough already. I know it's a story but this is just too much.
Somehow, although all this action takes place in the middle of a large city, no one else ever takes notice. There are no crowds, no people, nothing. Our heroes are free to blow things up, have massive gun battles, and escape without so much as a single person going "They went that away!", while pointing a finger.
There are just so many discrepancies that make no sense. The author basically just glosses over because they didn't care to actually explain or flesh things out.
I *wanted* to like this book dammit. The premise is neat, the idea feels original. There was so much possibility in this series. The author has the beginnings of an entire universe possible here but it just falls completely flat due to lousy character development and science that is completely illogical. I obviously will not be purchasing any more books in this series or by this author.
2 stars only because I reserve 1 star for complete trash. This is better than that but not worthy of more.
Being new to this genre, it took some time to build a relationship with the characters. But they are relatable from the opening chapter to the end. Again, Brent paints the scene well which helps the reader to envision himself standing beside J from lowly baseball playing farm boy to interstellar traveller.
Brent's wall looms large and draws parallels to a time when our own society is also "being protected for our own good." It makes the reader wonder just what are we not being told.