Oct 25, 2012


Containment by Christian Cantrell

Book description: The colony on Venus was not built because the destruction of Earth was possible, but because it was inevitable…
A brilliant young scientist and one of the first humans born on Venus, Arik works tirelessly to perfect the science of artificial photosynthesis, a project crucial to the future of his home, V1. The colony was built on the harsh Venusian surface by the Founders, the first humans to establish a permanent extraterrestrial settlement. Arik’s research becomes critical when he awakens from an unexplained, near-fatal accident and learns that his wife is three months pregnant. Unless Arik’s research uncovers a groundbreaking discovery, V1’s oxygen supply will not be able to support the increase in population that his baby represents.
As Arik works against time, he begins to untangle the threads of his accident, which seem inextricably linked to what lies outside the protective walls of V1—a world where the caustic atmosphere and extreme heat make all forms of known life impossible. For its entire existence, Arik's generation has been expected to help solve the problems of colonization. But as Arik digs deeper and deeper, he discovers alarming truths about the planet that the Founders have kept hidden. With growing urgency and increasing peril, Arik finds himself on a journey that will push him to the limits of his intelligence and take him beyond the unimaginable.
This book has an interesting premise, that although isn't new, will continue to be interesting to me in it's many forms. First off Earth colony and it's trials and struggles. Generally, when something has a theme I love (zombies, dystopian futures), I either love it or hate it, so I try not to get my hopes up too high. 

The beginning was a bit slow. There was a lot of history of earth and colonization of space stuff. The only thing that got me through was that, chapter to chapter, we jumped back and forth through time, breaking the dull bits into more manageable chunks.

I really liked the characters, although I have no idea why. They were awfully one dimensional. I still found myself caring about them and wanting good things to happen to them.

As I was writing this, I learned Christian Cantrell is also a technology writer. A piece of info that was not at all a shock after reading his novel. There are a lot of very detailed descriptions of the tech used in the V1 colony. Although there were times when I felt like I wished the author would get on with whatever it was he was moving toward, for the most part I didn't feel like details bogged down the story.

I was not a fan of the ending. There were just too many unanswered questions. Purposely unanswered, which bugs me even more. I'm all for a little bit of unknown at the end of a story - if everything is spelled out for you, it seems forced and fake. I'm not looking for an And-Everyone-Live-Happily-Ever-After situation. But there's a fine line between leaving a little to the imagination and leaving your reader feeling unfulfilled. Containment didn't make it to the line. If it seemed that the author wanted to make room for a sequel, I'd maybe be a little more understanding. This book doesn't need a sequel though. It needs an epilogue.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful I'd give it an All Right, I Guess. It could have been better, but it could have also been much worse.


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