Reviews: the not too bad

In the interests of balance – because no book will please everyone – these reviews are from readers who were not as enthusiastic about Intervention…

***

“I didn’t dislike this book as such, since I wanted to continue reading it and was mildly interested by the storyline, but it wasn’t entirely what I expected. As you know, I favour books to do with future worlds driven awry by disease etc., and from the blurb that’s what I expected this to be about. In essence, it was, but there was a lot more to it than that, and a quite substantial amount of stuff that didn’t particularly interest me, for example, it got a bit too “science-y” for my liking at points. It begins with Ayden Walker, a field researcher, exploring a problem with bees and pollination, before he realises it’s much deeper than he thought and ends up in a world of secrets and lies. I did enjoy aspects of the relationships going on, the way that technology might have evolved in 20 years time (for example, they used what appear to be a very sophisticated version of Google Glass) and how issues such as overpopulation were being faced. It was enough to get me to finish the book, but not enough to recommend it to many people (although I think it would make a great film!).”

5/10

– Sian Thomas (Review at Rebel Angel)

***

“Intervention was an interesting read. I didn’t really move me either way. There were things that I really liked about the story thought. I thought the story flow was great and there is always a sense of urgency throughout the story. The premise of the book was original and believable and it takes place in a very conceivable future. The main problem I had with the story was the inability to connect with the main character Ayden. He was very irritating to me. His incessant reckless behavior just annoyed me even if he did get ultimately get the result he was looking for. It also annoyed me that he was always right. I got that he was an off the charts super smart person whose only other intellectual equal was William but at some point I would’ve loved for him to be completely wrong. I wanted to know more about the bad guy than him. I actually liked him better anyway. There was just nothing in the story to sway me to love it or hate it. I would recommend this to true sci-fi thriller lovers out there.”

3/5 Stars

– Che Johnson (NetGalley Review)

***

“I’ll be honest, I love love love this sort of book. When I was in highschool, I had to do a big project as part of my science class. I was taking biology, so I decided to study mass extinctions. Doing so opened my eyes to a simple reality: in the past there had been species who dominated this earth, until something happened that meant that they didn’t anymore. Since then I’ve come to realise that the question isn’t so much whether the Earth will survive global warming and the various problem that have arisen over the last century. The question is whether HUMANS will survive. I love books that take on the real, difficult questions that humans are facing. Our population is growing, food and water are getting scarcer, real changes are happening in our climate. So what happens if someone tries to take action to stop our seemingly inevitable spiral towards destruction? Intervention is set in the not so distant future – a mere twenty years on, when there have been advances in technology. Take Google Glass and multiply its effectiveness and make it ubiquitous, and that’s what you get in this book. There have also been advances in science as well. Enter our main character, Ayden – extremely smart and in his twenties, he’s taken an interest in field research, wanting to make sure that the Earth survives the mounting pressures of 8.5 billion people. That means keeping an eye on changes in the biosphere, and tracing it all back to the big pharmaceutical companies who don’t necessarily want all that attention. The concepts that the book examines are really quite interesting. What measures should we take to protect the planet? How do we juggle our morals with the greater good? How do we balance human rights with potential catastrophe and massive human suffering? These are the questions that Ayden has to face throughout the book, and it’s really quite interesting. The writing is a bit dry at times, very technical – sometimes I wished for a bit more spice, something to move the plot along a little bit more. In spite of that though, there was enough to keep me reading, my interest piqued by the decisions that Ayden was having to make, and the hard questions being thrown at him by William Hanford, whose thought processes are a bit too close to Ayden’s for his own comfort. It’s not a black and white battle of good versus evil, that’s for sure, and the ending of the book doesn’t lay out any clear victories, either, which I like. So often decisions come with real consequences and real downsides, and this plays out as Ayden finds himself in very real danger, and putting his relationships at risk as well as he tries to find a way through the mess that has been created. Definitely worth a look, and I’ll be checking out the sequel!”

3/5 Stars

– Kerry R (Goodreads Review)

***

“This is the first self-published book that I’ve read that hasn’t been reworked and published in hardcopy (like Graham Brown’s, for example), and I was actually pleasantly surprised and rather impressed. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say this is sci-fi, but definitely a near-future techno thriller that’s smart and moves along at a decent clip. The characters are pretty nicely done, although I would have liked to see more of the protagonist Ayden’s parents–they seemed quirky and fun. Perhaps they’ll figure more in the sequel…

The plot revolves around questions of climate change, overpopulation, and depletion of Earth’s resources in the face of mankind’s unending gluttony for fuel and food. Set a few decades from now, global warming is really in full swing, food shortages are a daily reality, and science has made leaps and bounds in the development, tailoring, and use of GMOs–not just corn crops, but bees, viruses, bacteria, mosquitos, and more. But what about people? You’ll find out…

Ayden is a researcher working on a bee pollination problem. He’s quite curious, and stumbles onto a correlation between low pollination and something far more worrying–even sinister. When he learns about his capabilities and questions his fundamental identity, he must go head-to-head with a rival, risk alienating his parents and potential girlfriend, Tess, while avoiding the control of the government. It’s a fun story that really makes you think about what the growing human population is doing, or will do, to the earth.

Now, to be nitpicky: Some of the characters seemed a bit … underused, or even unnecessary. Often they just dropped out of the story after their role was done–I like to see things all tied together, or at least be informed of what happened to them at the end. The character of Tess seemed like the obligatory sexy love interest, but she, too, disappears for long stretches at a time. Once, just once, I’d like to see a techno-thriller or action thriller without the obligatory love interest. Just give me science, action, and the occasional explosion.

The thing that irked me most, however, is the lack of commas. This seems to be an epidemic in books lately–even in those distributed by large, rich publishing houses! It started out really well, and then whether lack of time or pressure to publish got in the way, I don’t know, but people started talking to each other in sentences that really didn’t have punctuation and sort of just seemed like they were addressing everyone at the same time and that gets really hard to read (see?). Especially when characters address each other, i.e. “Well what do you think Jack?” instead of “Well, what do you think, Jack?” Are commas expensive? I’d gladly work as a copy editor for authors–even if it’s just comma related! Call me 😉

Other than the nitpicky bits, I am very surprised and pleased with the completeness and skill of this book. I’ll very gladly read the sequel–and pay for it, too! This was the first book I read on my brand new Kindle, and a good inauguration, I think! Nicely done, Mr. Munro.

Note: The author furnished me with a free copy of this book for review. I received no compensation in any way, shape, or form for this review. The thoughts expressed here are strictly my own.”

3/5 Stars

– Pamela (Goodreads Review)

N.B. Following this review, an edit was conducted, resulting in the addition of many commas!

***

(Two sentences deleted as they contain spoilers.)

“This book deserves 3.5 stars. It is set in 2033 and there are far too many people on the planet. [Two sentences deleted.] Given the earth’s situation; overcrowding, people starving, oceans devoid of life, dead farmland, I couldn’t help but agree with [Name deleted]. [Sentence deleted]. The protagonist, Walker, struggles with this decision as well. Overall I enjoyed the book. I think parts get bogged down in science that the average reader would not understand.”

3/5 Stars

– Jeff French (Goodreads Review – but be warned this will show you the spoilers)

 

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