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First I would like to highlight the lack of any Science in this Science-Fiction novel and it has more reading errors from the audio-editing than any other audiobook I’ve ever purchased. I picked this book after reading the premise for the story thinking that this would be a true sci-fi thriller in the vain of Chrichton’s Jurassic Park or Timeline or films such as Contact or Arrival. An intriguing mystery wrapped around some scientific basis for time-travel or genetic manipulation or communicating with sentient interplanetary life. I was really disappointed...
The story begins interesting enough. The author does do a good job of highlighting the socio-economic and religious friction an event like the one described in the novel would create. However our protagonists are lackluster. An omniscient scientist, dashing in appearance right down to the Harry Potter-like scar on his forehead. A popular TV journalist who used to win beauty pageants. They are as vanilla and boring as Superman and I had little emotional investment in their story.
I lost interest in the story when the human embryos are mysteriously born after a 20-something day pregnancy without any scientific explanation or even reference to their surrogate mothers’ discomfort or ravenous appetite that would accompany such a gestation period. After the children’s births the story then jumps back to 100s of millions of years ago when their society roamed the earth and tells of the terminal event that destroyed this previously unknown human society. I was so bored and uninterested I skipped to the last two chapters just to see how it ended. Big surprise... the ending was equally disappointing and we don’t even get to see how these time travelers from the past get to effect our modern day society. Call me critical but I regretted this purchase. It’s pure escapism-fantasy with a poor plot and even worse characters. Audible listeners are for-warned.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Terminal Event by Robert Vaughan is a short story beginning with the discovery of a canister found deep in the Antarctic ice pack. Identified as containing human embryos, they are implanted into surrogate mothers resulting a rapidly growing humans with advanced skills. Once reaching maturity, the children relate their origin.
The sci-fi elements are crudely rendered with a batman utility belt quality (whenever something is needed it simply exists). There are simply too many holes and scientifically implausible scenarios as well as a total lack of familiarity with how science, politics, and human behavior operate to make this story remotely believable. For example, the notion that smart scientists go on to collect multiple PhDs in diverse disciplines (4 in this case) is ludicrous. Universities do not &quot;trot out&quot; celebrity scientists to obtain government grants. Seeing markings that suggest a numerical binary progression (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.) would not automatically imply biological material inside. Even if a biological material were determined, a scientist, along with the university president would not open the canister in a regular cold room (no concept of biocontainment). Looking, even under a microscope and deciding the material consists of human embryos is a stretch, but to decide to implant they embryos in women and basically interview them like for a secretary is quite far-fetched. The romantic interest was totally out of character on both sides.
The origin story is equally nonsensical with an advanced technologically race existing at the time of the dinosaurs with all indications of their existence being wiped out, but the dinosaurs somehow survived. The culture had the ability to genetically engineer humans for rapid growth, implantation of biological computers, anti-matter weapons, and a time traveling messaging system, but they were clueless on how to survive a planet wide disaster that the dinosaurs survived. The origin story was also peppered with banal personal details including restaurant menus for end of world parties.
The narration was marginal without much gender distinction or range of characters.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful