Book Reviews

Book Review : Containment

TL;DR:

Containment by Christian Cantrell containmentis captivating dystopian science fiction novel set on the surface of the planet Venus. The story is littered with intriguing scientific ideas, plenty of suspense, and an interesting twist or two. I thought the story started off a little slow, but around twenty percent of the way through the book things really picked up and held my attention rather effectively. There were a few parts where I really feel like the author got a bit wordy and repetitive while attempting to illustrate a point or a parallel, but they were fairly scarce. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian science fiction.

The Bad:

1. The story jumps around a bit chronologically, switching back and forth between the present and the past. The way it is written can make following the story a bit difficult and more than a little confusing at times.

2. As mentioned earlier, there are a few parts where I feel like the author is trying to illustrate a point or explain some technology and he gets a bit wordy. He spends several pages comparing human memories to RAID hard drives, and he spends a few pages explaining the differences between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. I really felt like these instances were just long stints of stuff that didn’t really do much for the story and made the book a bit harder to read.

The Good:

1. There are some really interesting scientific ideas proposed in the book that I found to be both thought provoking and (mostly) realistic. You can tell the author really put a great deal of thought into devices and science in his book. I like science and you should too.

2. While the story starts out a bit slow, once the ball gets rolling it grabbed my interest quite firmly and held onto it until the end of the ride. There isn’t much action but the pacing and well-done suspense keep the story more than interesting.

3. Several of the twists and turns surprised me. I spent most of the book thinking I had everything completely figured out. But the author was able to keep me distracted enough with one set of facts that I missed another set.

The Meh:

1. The characters in the book aren’t exactly deep or complex; they came off as rather wooden and two dimensional to me. On top of this, they did a great deal of telling rather than showing. This is definitely a plot driven book.

2. The author was pretty fond of giving stuff multiple names. I am not at all a fan of giving things multiple names, and then explaining the names. A single name and allowing me to infer its meaning and origin fulfills my requirements.

Synopsis:

Humanity has established its first and only extraterrestrial colony because the destruction of Earth is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The colony has been established on Venus and is now flourishing, so much so that there are now children who have never set foot on Earth. Among the Venusian-born is a brilliant scientist named Arik who has been tasked with solving the problem of AP, or artificial photosynthesis, which would allow the colony to indefinitely produce its own oxygen. Arik’s approach to the problem leads him outside the walls of V1, and into the thick caustic atmosphere of Venus. What he finds outside will reveal  secrets that the founders have kept hidden and push his intellect to the limits.

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