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The Gaia Effect Paperback – 8 Dec 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: New Generation Publishing (8 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1787192172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1787192171
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
In "The Gaia Effect" we are taken through an exploration of what is natural and normal vs man made normal, love, what we are willing to sacrifice for the greater good and how we grow for ourselves , and respect for the planet we live on, as well as how all this melds with a post apocalyptic society, technology and some difficult subject areas.

I found this easy to read, and found myself wanting to know how this unfolded with each page as each new piece of story came up, curious about how the side inserts to the story developed a larger world background, under the main story, which actually helped drive the story along well and left your brain asking lots of interesting questions.

I identified with the main character's mentality and way of understanding what was going on around him, as well as the amusing life recognisable interactions of some of the other characters.

I thought the themes, while heavy, were dealt with in an accessible manner, without being dumbed down, allowing for an intelligent, amusing and engaging read. I have a habit of drawing comparisons from the many science fiction stories and films I’ve read and seen, and it didn’t feel like I was rereading old story. I enjoyed the flow, the style, which didn’t go into too much techno jargon to make the story flow, a bad habit of some science fiction genre writers, but what was presented let the story happen around it , and not because of it. The character development was understandable and good, and the difficult story arcs involved were done with compassion and attention. I recommend reading this book, which I consider is in a science fiction/thriller young adult genre.
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Format: Paperback
This is right up my street as a book. although it had a sci-fi, dystopian future backdrop, this is a book about the events that test a friendship, and how friendship binds you together in the face of adversity.

In the future, corporations control cities across an earth that was broken by humanity itself. All aspects of life are catered for but also denied to many. Housing, food, water and even children are allocated only to those who tow the corporate line.

But all that changes with the appearance of a mysterious blue lady and her wild familiars...

The characters are superbly crafted;
Martha; fiercely defiant of her privileged family, comes to take on the ultimate responsibilities.
Ruth; subversive and independent, yet hiding unbearable pain and torment as her motivation.
Dina; so young and yet to really find herself, she shows great strength in putting herself at incredible risk for all.
Jed; responsible, dependable, strong, law enforcement; he finds himself at the centre of events as they spin out of his control and understanding.

and finally Kira; our narrator for this novel and as much as the host and protagonist of the events as Gaia herself. Mother, wife and friend; she embodies the core elements that Gaia is trying to wrest from the corporations control.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love a good corporate conspiracy thriller, and this is that in spades. In this post-apocalyptic future, humanity lives under a dome to protect them from the radiation outside. And people are kept artificially sterile by the corporate entity running the world. Of course, they’re doing that without anyone’s knowledge or permission. The book, though set well in the future, arguably explores very contemporary themes of increasing corporate control over every facet of our lives and the degree to which people are losing themselves among the lies, even the puppet masters. It’s Brave New World in a bottle.

The fact that there’s divine intervention in this one sets this post-apocalyptic fiction apart from many others. Some may hence view it as a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, while others might appreciate the spiritual element, and yet others be entirely turned off. I myself would have used the little blue lady that the women who become pregnant are seeing as evidence of ratcheting up of corporate control, letting people think they have an escape into fantasy or are protected by divine intervention, only to find that corporate has instead opened yet another rung in Dante’s hell for him. Still, I like that the author chooses to go against the grain here in a desperately overwritten genre where everyone else is more or less writing the same book over and over again. She deserves points just for trying to keep things fresh.

The other thing I enjoyed about this one that helped to set it apart from a lot of pedestrian post-apocalyptic fare was the presence of a lot of cool futuristic technology that survives the prior apocalyptic event. So it might be a dark future, but at least it feels like a possible future, rather than “forward to the past.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Gaia Effect is not my normal kind of reading, but a thoroughly enjoyable read, nonetheless. Set in a dystopian future where the surviving population live in domed cities protecting them from the radiation outside, a company called Corporation exists to provide the people with everything they desire. Arguably the most important contribution from Corporation is providing a population made sterile by the radiation in the water with lab-grown babies (Corporation provides the people with clean water too). The creativity Buss shows in this regard is brilliant, and terrifying at the same time - a sort of modern day Brave New World.

Now, no business likes competition. Corporation are no different. So, when three friends all become pregnant by natural means, they are in immediate danger. When the friends begin to speak together of their fears and wonder how this natural conception occurred when everyone is supposed to be sterile, they discover all of them have recently seen a vision of a shimmering blue lady. Once the identity of this blue lady is confirmed, it becomes clear something is happening far more profound than any of them realise.

The Gaia Effect is Buss’ first novel, and speaks of the ancient and the modern, what it is to be dependent upon an overarching, largely anonymous, overseer, and, most of all, what it is to be a woman. The novel chimes with many modern day concerns, and is, I believe, a fascinating debut from an author to look out for in the years to come.
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