Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: Nomad: A Thriller (The New Earth Series Book 1) by Matthew Mather

When you’re reading and you have to stop to catch your breath….

Nomad by Matthew Mather has plenty of action.  At the center of the whirlwind is the Earth, being threatened by something invisible, massive, and moving extremely fast toward us from the other side of the sun.  It threatens to rip through our solar system, pulling the sun behind it in its gravitational wake and leaving the Earth a frozen wasteland, ejected into deep space.  And like many of the best science thrillers, the story has the ring of solid research and the latest theory.  But for those not sure or who just want more (like me), Mather provides an Afterword that details recent findings.  They parallel the story to an amazing degree, providing some fascinating food for thought.  They’d even be cause for concern, except no similar events are expected in the next million years.  (Whew)

Although I thought the science was the star of the book, if suspense born of astrophysics is not your ‘cup of tea,’ don’t worry.  Dealing with awaking volcanos, kidnappings, earthquakes, being trapped in a cave-in, robbery, and tsunamis all make an appearance in the story.  The action is intense and nearly nonstop.

With the focus on pace, one might expect character development to suffer, but it didn’t.  One of the primary figures in Nomad is Jessica Rollins.  Even in the first scenes, it’s clear that she’s headstrong and doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind – perhaps to a fault.  As a result, she seems spoiled and arrogant, especially early in the book.  But as the story unfolds, we get views into her history, resulting in a more textured picture of a woman fighting for survival while coming to grips with her past.  At times, Jessica’s backstory seemed a bit excessive.  But if she is to be one of the main protagonists throughout the series, which I suspect, the development is appropriate.  Romance also made its way into the book, but it was the trite, ‘what do you do when you only have hours to live’ type.  It was a throwaway scene, one of the very few.

Overall, Nomad lives up to the name of its genre – it’s a thriller with fascinating science and decent characters.  And the pace?  Well, you may even need to take a break from reading just to catch your breath.

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