1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Final Days (Paperback)
This novel has a straightforward style and the story moves along quite briskly. There's a lot of action, and although not brilliantly described, this novel was better than many I've read lately. Also, the big mystery had me interested, wanting to see what would happen.
However there is very little insight given into the characters and it took me quite a while to be able to distinguish one from another. They all have the same basic template: mostly divorced, had an affair, nothing inspiring or particularly likeable about them - and that was about it. The result was that as the story moved along from one person to the next, I really didn't care much what any of them were doing or what happened to them.
(SPOILERS AHEAD!) The wormhole idea as a form of time travel was an interesting one, although I'm a bit dubious about the physics of it all. The paradoxical loop involving Mitchell was just a bit stupid. I know these often feature in Sci-fi, but Gibson didn't need to include it here.
The plot wasn't very original: alien civilisation left wormholes behind; people see a future catastrophe and try to stop it. It reminded me a lot of Flashforward: people see themselves at a point in the future, and either try to stop it from happening or accept their place in it; and their actions all lead unavoidably to that event happening. But it's a fascinating idea so I don't mind it getting reimagined.
However, there were many parts of the story that weren't very credible: Saul manages to escape from improbable situations too often - often depending on the bad guys' ineptitude. When they are transporting the alien artifacts, the most precious things humanity has ever discovered, there's basically a truck, a jeep and a couple of security personnel. Of course in reality there would be a small army and every kind of surveillance, especially since they know something will happen which will end the world. Likewise, when they break Mitchell from the lab it's ridiculously easy. He's an alien, and something alien is about to destroy the world, so there would be an army ensuring he didn't escape. And I also found it a bit unbelievable that Saul didn't ask more questions of Mitchell, but instead just sat in a rocket with him and flew to the moon - when he knew the guy was possibly alien. There were too many plot points that depended on stupidity in order to take place.
So, overall, I found this novel to lack originality, have problems with its story, and have poor characterisation. But, the mystery did keep me interested, and I read it to the end, which is more than I can say for many novels I've bought recently.