Monday, January 4, 2016

Maelstrom by Richard Paolinelli


Maelstrom tells the story of Steven Collins, a scientist who aims to make the world a better place by creating a shield to dissipate asteroids before they collide with Earth. His shield, however, ultimately causes WWIII and the devastation of the human race. With the collapse of his station, he is thrown forward in time to witness this destruction for himself and attempt to fix the post-apocalyptic world he created. 

For the most part, I enjoyed this novel. I was skeptical at first when I was confronted with a paragraph musing about time and the endless possibilities. I almost wish the novel had just dived in with Steven as a little kid when the idea of a shield to protect the earth first came to him. I also wished for a little more of Steven's background and childhood as it would have given me more insight into his character, and more emotional connection to his siblings.

This is a relatively fast read, and the plot clips along at a pace that feels more like a short story. I will say that I called both "twists" by about page thirty, and both were correct. But aside from that, I was pleasantly surprised by the novel. The story was linear, but interesting. There was plenty of action and romance to suit anyone, and the plot was believable for a science-fiction novel. There was also plenty of conflict in the short span of 146 pages. 

I think my biggest critique for this novel would be that I wished for more information in a few places. There are a few questions that are left unanswered, even though this is an entire novel by itself. Perhaps this is best for science fiction, as it leaves the imagination unhindered by facts, but I still think there could have been a little improvement. I also wanted more information about the Montreax species. They just kind of appeared when it was convenient for the novel, and happened to have exactly the powers and information that were needed for the story, and then they were just kind of left when the story was no longer on Europa. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to science fiction fans looking for something quick to read.

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