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Trajectory Book 1 (New Providence) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I'm not giving it 5 stars only because I'm comparing it to the best books in the genre. And because I'd love a larger world, with more development on the social side of that world and also even more science. Though maybe that's in the second book. But even as it is, just the first book, it felt very satisfactory reading it.
"This was a great book. The author did a great job introducing the characters at the beginning and made it very interesting. The author made it very easy to be hooked on the book. My dad challenged me to finish the book in one week. I did the math and I figured out that if I read 19 chapters a day I would finish the book in four days but the book was so good I finished it in two days. The science was very good. I haven’t done enough research to find out if it is totally true, but I know enough to know it is cloes. Campbell does a great job describing the future and describes the end of the world.
Near the end of the book it still felt like the middle of the book (I didn't know there was a #2). Overall I think is a great book and I can’t wait to read the second one."
Robert creates a world in a probably distant future where humans live on Mars.
The world is probable, and Robert explores the themes of what it would take to survive. I imagined a less gritty Syd Mead world described.
Robert makes the characters likable. The character's fate are quickly tangled in a possible threat to humanity, starting with their loved ones.
All in all, I enjoyed the storytelling. While it was Robert's first book, it didn't feel like it.
With that off my chest, this take on a bleak future for humanity is very gritty and deeply described. Some 50,000 people live on Mars, seemingly on the edge of survival with a small fleet of aging space ships dragging raw materials, including precious water, back from the asteroid belt. There are inconsistencies in the economics of this - 50,000 people would consume around 100 million gallons of water a month, and that's a lot of icebergs to capture - because essentially they do not want for too much in the way of low tech and high gadgets and that seems unlikely.
Also, we're five generations in so the teenage kids in the story grew up in one third Earth gravity yet easily endure multiple gees on the space ships. It's niggles but niggles add up.
More importantly, I felt something was missing in the wordsmithing of the story. It is very technical, no harm in that, and Campbell gets us into the characters minds, but I missed a vital emotional connection with them. It is hard to define, because I applaud authors who are not afraid to kill off characters, and Campbell scores full marks on that score. No impossible outcomes here, orbital mechanics dictate and v=ma rules supreme, so if you don't have the fuel to make your trajectory then it's lights out, you are never getting home. He also introduces and maintains a mystery, which is quite a feat. Yet the cast make slightly out-of-character comments or actions throughout, and that is consistently jarring.
This is a very technical novel that drills into a *lot* of detail about how current technology space flight from Mars to harvest asteroids might work. It nicely balances that with the people aspect, and I've already purchased Book 2, so I was invested enough to want to find out how things turn out. Given many of the characters - and the ones who solve a lot of problems - are teenagers, this is a great YA novel. But unfortunately it is not a bulls-eye overall despite a lot of well thought through components.
Well done. Already anxiously awaiting the next part.