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Extinction - Ray Hammond

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Ray Hammond / Paperback / 600 Pages / Book is published 2005-02-18 by Macmillan

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      02.05.2009 12:31
      Very helpful



      Pulp fiction

      Extinction is a novel set in the not too distant future (2055 to be exact) and speculates what might happen if the Earth's weather were controlled by a large powerful organization. It's quite a trashy, pulpy novel that I bought when trawling through the post apocalyptic science fiction section on Amazon. Co.uk, I read it quite quickly so here is a brief summary.

      Extinction plays out almost exactly like a disaster movie made either by Roland Emmerich or Irwin Allen. In fact the novel is very similar to the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'. Told from various viewpoints, it dots around planet Earth (and the Moon) in lightning flashes.

      We are first introduced to a large group of refugees, forced out of their respective countries onto boats because their nation's temperatures have become unbearable. These large oil tankers and freighters have been joined together to create a massive land mass of boats that no country will accept. Their lawyer in all this, Michael Fairfax, is also a main player in the story.

      Perdy, a plucky reporter from the BBC wants to do a story on media giant 'Negromite', a man who is very much based on Richard Branson. His company is behind the new moon base that controls the planet's weather. It becomes clear that this new system is wreaking havoc with the Earth's axis, causing tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and other major disasters.

      All in all, the novel wasn't too bad. It raced through at breakneck speed, not really concentrating very much on the characters involved. They were much like the cardboard stereotypes we might expect from a disaster movie. In my head I was putting famous actors to the characters as I went through imagining this book as Hammond's pitch to film directors.

      Not enough time was spent on the descriptions of the events themselves. The major Earthquake in San Francisco and megatsunami were quickly described and then very quickly dismissed. Although 300 pages long, it could have been twice that size with a little more description.

      Extinction wasn't too bad, but its hardly a work of great fiction. It passes the time well enough, but by next week when I move onto my next book I'm sure I will have forgotten all about it.


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