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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Containment by Christan Cantrell

ContainmentContainment by Christian Cantrell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: As the Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish at an alarming rate, the Global Space Agency is formed with a single mandate: protect humanity from extinction by colonizing the solar system as quickly as possible. Venus, being almost the same mass as Earth, is chosen over Mars as humanity’s first permanent steppingstone into the universe.

Arik Ockley is part of the first generation to be born and raised off-Earth. After a puzzling accident, Arik wakes up to find that his wife is almost three months pregnant. Since the colony’s environmental systems cannot safely support any increases in population, Arik immediately resumes his work on AP, or artificial photosynthesis, in order to save the life of his unborn child. Arik’s new and frantic research uncovers startling truths about the planet, and about the distorted reality the founders of the colony have constructed for Arik’s entire generation. Everything Arik has ever known is called into question, and he must figure out the right path for himself, his wife, and his unborn daughter

I struggled with this one - was this supposed to be a technical dissertation of how a colony might happen?  Or was this a story about a colony that experiences what it is to be cut off from everything? 

The premise of the story was interesting enough, but the scientific and historical info dumps were very distracting.  The historical background was pontificating on our current global warming crisis and the results thereof, and the scientific info dumps on why things worked they way they worked made it seem like I - the reader - wouldn't understand unless it was explained in excruciating detail.

Additionally, the excessive scientific and historical exposition made the human aspect of the story choppy and disjointed.  What could have been a very interesting tale about struggling to live as an isolated colony,  as a First Generation colonist, and the lies everyone was living with, was diminished because you had to slog through the scientific "how V1 worked" and "why they were there".

So, ultimately, a potentially interesting story that was bogged down by too much information.

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