3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Gibson's first novel post-Shoal series, 15 Nov. 2011
Gibson's first novel post-Shoal series (which I wasn't a great fan of really).
Excellent opening sequence reminiscent of the original Alien movie...spacesuited team exploring huge alien structures on a dark, cold world...and guess what....something bad happens.
Turns out a long disappeared race (The Founders) have left us some nasty surprises hidden in their tech (which a covert govt agency are keeping secret of course).
In the novel Gibson explores the idea that once we have the technology to open worm-holes light-years apart, we also have an impromptu time travel device. In the novel this allows us to peer forward in time and glimpse the after effects of a mysterious calamity which has left the Earth barren and unpopulated.
Opening the wormhole effectively means that all events that take place in the time period between the hole's opening are now set in stone, predetermined and fixed. With this realisation our main characters don't waste time trying to prevent the catastrophe (and save the planet's population) instead they work to find the cause and who is to blame for it, and let as many people know as possible. Oh, and get off the planet before it happens of course.
In the meantime, the various covert agencies in the know are working to get as many men and resources off-world to mankind's sprinkling of space colonies as possible. Sod the rest of us.
There's something for everyone here, wormholes reminiscent of Stargate, the end of the world at the hands of mysterious alien forces, corrupt covert agencies, future technologies (the internet is accessed through contact lenses, which I find more aesthetically pleasing than, say, Neal Asher's cyborg-like grafting of hardware to the human body), there is even an old couple who run a space travel company offering trips to the moon in replicas of the Apollo / Saturn 5 moonshots.
Gibson cobbles together a lot of familiar SF tropes into an overall coherent whole here, and I'll be interested to see where he goes with it in his next outing (there is the promise of a series here according to his Wiki entry).
There was something about Final Days that reminded me of Paul McAuley's 'Cowboy Angels' (covert agent redeeming himself in a race against time via handy wormholes etc etc).
I'd give this 6 out of 10...which means it's worth a read, the story jogs along and remains engaging, though hardly original in it's ideas or plot.
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