When mankind faces extinction, can anyone survive?
In 2072, Earth faces the ultimate extinction event. In an America turned authoritarian, a desperate race against time begins. To send a starship to a distant planet, where the remains of humanity can survive.
However, while the government wants to recreate the society it has engineered, there are those who secretly conspire to let the starfarers choose their own destiny. As mankind on Earth faces its final blow, the selected few set course for Aurora, more than 40 light years away.
Follow Maria Solis, the billionaire daughter, Kenneth Taylor, Harvard professor of psychology, and Tina Hammer, a scramjet pilot and officer, through the selection and preparations for the adventure of a lifetime – and a final chance for a doomed civilization. – Goodreads Synopsis
Exodus by Andreas Christensen is what some might term a ‘hard’ science fiction read. Devoid of dramatics, the story is established swiftly, proceeds without faltering, and wraps up with an ending clearly meant to make the reader want to continue with the second book. It thankfully manages this ending without making it a cliffhanger, which earns it serious points.
It is inevitable that anyone who has read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora (my review) will draw comparisons between the two novels. I obviously haven’t read the rest of the Exodus trilogy, but on the basis of the first book compared with this point in the journey in KSR’s novel, I can truthfully say that I prefer Exodus. It has a bit more of the human element, and I never skimmed because the science elements got a little too much and went over my head. It’s definitely heaps more entertaining than Seveneves (my review), that engaged me thoroughly for the first part, but proceeded to lose me towards the end of the second.
At the same time, the very fact that Exodus is lacking in dramatics also disappointed me a bit. I think part of me secretly kind of craves the end of the world, and those are always my favorite scenes to read/watch. Exodus skims over the one part where Christensen had the license to be dramatic, and give us the epic fall of humanity (on Earth, at least). I found myself a bit disgruntled that the end was described with little more thought than one would give the bubbles of a fart in the bathtub. I’m guessing this is probably because Christensen plans to do more with the remnants of Earth later on, but he could simply have decided not to go the way of the big ba-da-boom and just gotten it over with. Regardless, it gave me a mild case of the pouts, but I got over it.
Overall, Exodus is a well-told story that leaves you needing more of the story. There are very few stories that ignite that ‘must read next book’ flame inside me, but Christensen definitely succeeded. It’s a book that could have easily been expanded another quarter of its current size and remained satisfying, but I think by keeping it as trim as he did, he did himself and the story a favor. It’s too easy for science tangents to distract. Exodus stays plot focused, and reminded me pleasingly of Moonfall by Jack McDevitt, and I’d highly recommend you click here and buy Exodus on Amazon for yourself.