- File Size: 2786 KB
- Print Length: 420 pages
- Publisher: 47North (July 23, 2013)
- Publication Date: July 23, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B3V9GAA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Interrupt Kindle Edition
|Length: 420 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Edgy and exciting. Carlson writes like a knife at your throat." —Bob Mayer, New York Times bestselling author of the Green Berets and Area 51 series.
"A killer thriller." —John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunter
"A phenomenal read." —Steven Savile, international bestselling author of Silver
"The ideas fly as fast as jets." —Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo Award-winning author of 2312
Readers can find advance excerpts, videos, contests, and more at jverse.com
About the Author
Jeff Carlson was born on the day of the first manned moon landing and narrowly escaped being named Apollo, Armstrong, or Rocket. His father worked for NASA-Ames at the time. His granddad on his mother’s side was a sci fi fan whose library included autographed copies of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Both men were strong, early influences—and in the high tech 21st Century, it’s easy to stand with one foot in reality and the other in thriller novels.
Jeff is the internationally bestselling author of Interrupt, Plague Year, and The Frozen Sky, hailed by Publishers Weekly as “Pulse pounding.” To date, his writing has appeared in fifteen languages worldwide. Readers can find free fiction, videos, contests, and more on his web site at www.jverse.com.
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Carlson writes good main characters. Their motivations are clear to the reader, rather than contrived or irrational. His secondary characters tend to be more sketchy, lacking depth and individuality. But Carlson keeps the story going and keeps the reader engrossed in the action, so it makes for an enjoyable read.
Disregarding the disagreements I have with Carlson's "science" part of this work of fiction, it's a fine book I recommend without hesitation.
Unfortunately, the speculative science in the novel was unconvincing for me. Here are some major flaws (spoilers follow):
* Why were the "higher order," larger animals affected? Doesn't that not mesh with the thriving megafauna 30-50K years ago? Wolves and elephants aren't any stupider than dogs, yet by Carlson's logic they should have been affected and become "feral".
* Homo sapient existed and had tools and culture (including art) for over 100K years. Australian aborigines arrived in Australia 50K-125K years ago, well during the age of Neanderthals in N. Europe. That doesn't mesh with Carlson's speculation about the pulse effects. Making a boat or a raft and navigating it across open water requires more sophistication than Carlson proposes for the pulse-affected Homo sapients.
* Newer science shows that Neanderthals had cared for the old and infirm and had buried their children with a lot of care. This science may post-date Carlson's novel, but it unfortunately detracts from the plausibility of his hypothesis of Neanderthals' culture and society.
* Carlson postulates that the Neanderthal "personality imprints" were inherited through interbreeding. Yet the first thing his "resurrected" Neanderthals focus on is the extermination of humans without sufficient Neanderthal "inheritance". That is self-contradictory.
Unfortunately, I personally found the book a chore to read all the way through. I've been struggling to finish it for weeks now, and finally got done with it. I have some problems with it that are pretty fundamental. First, I didn't much care about or believe in their obsessions. Some of these obsessions seemed both unjustified and a little odd.
Another issue I had was that the science to me did not make a lot sense. The concept of the level of science that lead character Emily was doing in the conditions under which she was doing it and the sheer speed with which she leaped to conclusions on the basis of limited (almost no) evidence...just insane.
The rationale for the fighting and attacks in the last half of the book also didn't make a lot of sense to me. There were huge...and I mean HUGE...leaps of logic in this story that just didn't track for me.
Overall, I think this story could have been fabulous. Unfortunately, the story logic and characters as written were just not very believable or even (in the case of the characters) not very interesting.
First, the quick summary. The world is bombarded by a naturally caused EMP. Chaos reigns. Human's are befuddled as the electromagnetic fields scramble their ability to reason turning them into little more than poorly functioning animals. The one exception are those with Neanderthal genes. And those who are autistic. The two being the same.
Autism, in Carlson's book, is actually an adaptation for a permanent EMP environment. And being well adapted they make mincemeat of the poorly functioning humans and those functioning humans still protected by human technology. The autistic become Neanderthals. Neanderthals in all their glory.
I found the plot fascinating.
Now to the reason for the four stars. The beginning of the book draws the reader in, allowing for a natural suspension of belief. What would an EMP look like? Carlson shows you. How would Neanderthals think and communicate? Carlson gives a reasonable example. How would humans act as the horror unfolds? Again, believable. The conclusion is well written and flows naturally. But the mid- section pacing dragged. Had I been the editor I would have crossed off whole paragraphs. Sometimes detail is important. Sometimes not. The novel suffered from the lack of discretion between the two.
One reviewer found the ending too pat. I disagree. It was the salvation of the book, making this reader overlook the pacing problems and raising my rating to four stars. I will always remember Emily's post EMP description of PJ, an autistic boy and a central character of the story: "Outside, in the open, P.J. was better than us," she explained to his mother in the conclusion. "He was perfect....Her heart ached with the sad sweet, majestic wonder of him." This was perhaps the best scene in the book and the writing-- magic.
In conclusion the novel has flaws but is worthy of the reader's time. It will alter your view of the world. It will certainly alter your view of autism. And, if you ponder the role of Neanderthals in our past, It will certainly alter your views about them.
Keep writing Mr. Carlson but do find a better editor.
Top international reviews
As the mother of an autistic son (Asperger's Syndrome), unlike one reviewer, I didn't feel that it was insulting to people with ASD, but I did find it expoitative. This would have been okay if there had been some relevant and useful purpose for it, but there wasn't and the ending was rushed, and you were simply left feeling "what was the point?".
Not only do EMPs knock out technology they also activate a latent Neanderthal gene in those on the autistic spectrum. The newly formed Neanderthal tribes communicate by singing and seem far better adapted to post technological life than their homo sapien cousins.
The book starts well and for the first third is for me a real page turner but then seems to tun out of steam. As if the author had a great idea to set the scene but then doesn't know what to do next.
I really struggled to finish this book which was a shame after a promising start.
I can't see me trying any more from this author.