What would happen if the world were ending?
When a catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers…
This is the first Neal Stephenson book I actually liked, though it did take me a while to get into it. I think I fell in love around the 40% mark and read the remaining 500 pages in the space of 3 days. In fact I was reading it on a train at one point and literally had to put the book away because otherwise I would not have wanted to get off the train.
The first thing I love about this book is the very first line: “The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason“. At no point in this 900 page book do we find out why the moon blew up, it just did. And I love that because why the moon blew up isn’t the important thing. Seveneves is all about what happenes next because the moon blew up.
If that first sentence is enough to make you want to read this book, stop reading this review right now. Seveneves is the type of book where its best going in knowing as little as possible. Go buy the book and come back after you’ve finished it.
The first 60% of Seveneves takes place directly after the break up of the moon. We see scientists realise that the huge chunks of rock that were previously the moon are going to start breaking up and falling to earth – which the scientists refer to as hard rain – causing the atmosphere to burn and making the earth uninhabitable for thousands of years.
In a way the first part of Seveneves is very similar to The Martian. But instead of Mark Watney you have the entire human race trying to figure out a way to not die. The result is a colony of the smartest people on tiny ships surrounding the International Space Station. We see everything these people go through trying to get to a safe place in which they can start to rebuild the human race.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers for the second part of the book but it takes place 5000 years after the moon’s breakup and deals with the consequences of the decisions made by the original members of the mission.
I cannot say this enough, I loved this book. I love that we get to see the consequences of one characters action thousands of years later. I love that this whole world feels so fleshed out. I love the artwork made for the second part. I love that this is about evolution and natural selection and genetics. But above all, even with all the super technical sciency stuff, I love that this book is primarly about people and the choices they make