Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ocean of Storms

Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari, Jeremy K. Brown
47North: 12/1/16
eBook review copy; 400 pages
ISBN-13: 9781503938779

Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown is a so-so science fiction novel.

An explosion on the moon causes an EMP that affects all of the earth. A deep fissure is now on the Moon's Ocean of Storms and it is believed that an alien ship long buried on the moon has caused the event. The effort to get a team who can explore the suspected anomaly on the moon requires cooperation between the USA and China. Tensions are at an all-time high globally, so hopefully some answers will calm down the human race.

This is an interesting mix of sci-fi and thriller. It starts out slow, so be prepared for a long, slow build up before they actually get to the moon. After that the novel jolts forward like it is a race to make sure they have as many varied events occurring as they possibly can in one novel. This has the novel heading more in the direction of a thriller.

I'm in a quandary over the rating of this one. There are numerous examples of poor science/no science here. Research would have helped enormously, especially since many sci-fi readers like real science in their science fiction. This lack became problematic for me as the errors mounted. For example, a world-wide EMP (electromagnetic pulse) would not be an event that we would recover from as easily and quickly as depicted in Ocean of Storms. Certainly Mari and Brown could have written this as some other world-wide occurrence and skip calling it an EMP. As the errors began to add up, I was ready to stop reading. Then the novel takes this leap and starts running off in a new direction, which made me realize that Mari and Brown weren't actually writing a sci-fi novel, they were writing a thriller that needed the sci-fi elements. This realization lessened my harsh judgement of Ocean of Storms.

It is entertaining. The writing is okay; there are numerous errors in the science. There was one huge, glaring plot mistake where a character wasn't in the scene and then suddenly was. I re-read the previous pages thinking I missed something, but, no, I didn't. All the characters are caricatures of various standard types. The thriller element tackles more popular hot topics and a conspiracy. In the final analysis it is an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink plot peopled with standard characters.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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