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Pulse: When Gravity Fails (Pulse Science Fiction Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 18, 2016
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Never a dull moment in this imaginative science fiction thriller. As many apocalyptic and science fiction as I've read over the decades, the cause in this book is new to me, and its astrophysical soundness renders it all the more terrifying.
The author provides a variety of detailed anecdotes, with a core of continuing characters whose lives exemplify "normality" as reality shifts, changes, and cracks.
The story has a rich cast of characters; they have depth. The reader can empathize with them as they are mostly like ourselves. The gravitational waves are the story's underpinning, but the actions and reaction of the characters are the heart of the story. This is a novel about people and catastrophe, a story with elements of sci-fi, but it is one that everyone can relate to because of the reality of the characters. Reviewed by the author of The Children's Story, About Good and Evil.
Note: gravitational waves are a reality. They were first conceptualized by Einstein in his general theory of relativity and first observed in February 2016. Scary, but scientists explain that they were very weak and no threat to us earthlings. Are they positive about the future? One must wonder.
Alpha Centauri has collapsed. If it collapsed as a core collapse supernova, it would have struck Earth with an energy equivalent to 1% of Hiroshima per square meter, or about 10 tons of dynamite per square foot. That would pretty much eradicate all life, whether the blast hits us as a gravitational wave or a shockwave of debris.
In the book, the catastrophe is felt as a gravitational wave, treating everything on earth like dust on a whip. On one side of the Earth, everything is squished into the dirt as gravity apparently intensifies, and on the other side, objects begin floating and are even ripped from the moorings. Herein lies one of my problems: if the change in gravity bends metal structures and uproots trees, it seems unrealistic that anyone might survive.
My second problem lies in the brevity of the novel. At 90 pages, it feels under-written. The different characters and their plot threads hardly connect and it is difficult to see why they are all necessary, except for a few plot reasons.
My hope is that Mr. Freitas takes the novel back to the workshop and runs it through a couple more iterations, fleshing out the story, solidifying the coherence of the triple threads, and creating a more satisfying ending that currently feels more than a little rushed. The story and the premise have more potential than this incarnation has realized.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The story flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional skill when it comes to storytelling. There are twists and turns in this page turner that will take the reader on a thrilling journey.
It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader! I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from John Freitas in the future! A highly recommended read. Five stars from me.