Extracted Review

Book cover for Extracted by RR Haywood

In 2061, a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.

A desperate plan is formed. Recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.

Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.

‘Mad’ Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission—to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base—but he also escaped with his life.

Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue, and killed all five.

Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world? – Goodreads


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Extracted Review

 

Extracted is a difficult book to like. If you do like it (and I did end up doing so), it’s difficult to say why. It’s not particularly well-written. While the dialogue cracked me up, the writing was generally just a bit off.  The book starts, stops, and sputters along, frequently finding a rhythm and then falling away from it. There are flashes of brilliance that make you want to love it, but those flashes are almost drowned in the mediocrity surrounding them.

I think one of the reasons I ended up liking the book was the characters themselves. I truly enjoyed Mad Harry, Safa, and Ben in Extracted.  They were all sharp contrasts to each other in so many ways. I’m aware that in some ways they were walking cliches (especially Safa), however, I just didn’t care. When they interacted, I loved them. Well, mostly Harry and Safa. Ben, for obvious reasons, I just wanted to smack.

Probably the biggest problem with Extracted is that the only thing that really happens in it is a study of severe depression in one of the characters. When you start reading it, it really feels like it’s going to be action-packed and awesome. And then everything grinds to a sudden, screeching halt. Yes, there’s some obligatory training sequences, and it’s intercut with a group of people trying to find them, but that’s about it. Everything in Extracted is suddenly about one single member of the team and his mental health. Now, don’t get me wrong, a book focusing on mental health is not a bad thing. In fact, I think issues like mental illness need to come up more in science fiction and fantasy novels. However, the way the author went about this one, especially the resolution to try to shock Ben back into being Ben, was a bit ridiculous. 

Overall, Extracted could have been a great book, but it was severely hampered by the weight around its middle and the fact it’s just book one in a trilogy. It’s not its own, independent, strong book. It feels like R.R. Haywood took a few chapters of introduction to the second book and thought “Hey, let me stretch this out into its own book.”.  And the material he chose to stretch out just isn’t strong enough (or enough, period.) I did like it, but I can’t recommend it, and I won’t be reading more in the series. 

Title: Extracted | Series: Extracted #1 | Author: RR Haywood (site) | Publisher: 47North | Pub. Date: 2017-3-1 | Pages: 400 | ASIN: B01HIKCA52 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Severe depression | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received a free copy from Netgalley for review consideration.| Purchase on Amazon