Monday, March 31, 2008
Maelstrom (Rifters #2) by Peter Watts
From the Publisher
An enormous tidal wave on the West Coast of North America has just killed thousands. Lenie Clarke, in a black wetsuit, walks out of the ocean onto a Pacific Northwest beach filled with the oppressed and drugged homeless of the Asian world who have gotten only this far in their attempt to reach America. Is she a monster or a goddess? One thing is for sure: all hell is breaking loose.This dark, fast-paced, hard SF novel returns to the story begun in Starfish: all human life is threatened by a disease (actually a primeval form of life) from the distant prehuman past. It survived only in the deep ocean rift where Clarke and her companions were stationed before the corporation that employed them tried to sterilize the threat with a secret underwater nuclear strike. But Clarke was far enough away that she was able to survive and tough enough to walk home, three hundred miles across the ocean floor. She arrives carrying with her the potential death of the human race, and possessed by a desire for revenge. Maelstrom is a terrifying explosion of cyberpunk noir by a writer whose narrative, says Robert Sheckley, "drives like a futuristic locomotive."
Like the first book in this series, Starfish, this book was good. It is a very dark look at a future society where energy is a very expensive commodity. Where people are bio engineered for better performance. Where regular citizens are drugged into submission and treated like cattle. Where the Internet has become an alien world where new lifeforms are evolving constantly.
I plan to find and read the next two in this series because it is quite a compelling story. This book was a bit disjointed like the first but I suppose that is this author's style.
Where the first book was more of an introduction to the Rifters, this book was about the Apocalypse. In the form of Lenie Clarke, who is a product of a terrifying future society. It is also an indepth look at this society that is capable of doing the things it has done in the name of survival. A very interesting book that is not great while you are reading it, but gets better the more you read (I know that makes no sense, but that is the best I can do to describe the way I feel about it.)
This is a book that makes you think and keeps you thinking even after you finish it.