Daily Review: Maelstrom by Richard Paolinelli
September 21, 2017
This story is a meld of science and fiction with adventure to boot.
Dr. Steven Collins has devoted his life to one cause: finding a way to prevent a catastrophic collision between Earth and an asteroid, like the one that killed off the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Collins spends years developing a shield—a device that uses the Earth’s own magnetic field—and finally reaches the point where he is ready to test it.
But when Collins turns on his creation, he rips open a hole in time and space itself that hurls him forward in time, where he discovers to his horror that the device he created has caused the very global Armageddon he was trying to prevent. Collins now must try to undo the damage he has done as best he can.
But the few surviving members of the human race are slowly dying off, a century of living under the shield taking its toll, and they cannot leave the planet to try to build a new civilization elsewhere. For just beyond the shield lurks a madman who seeks to dominate the human race or exterminate it.
By C. Turner
Be prepared for some serious apocalypse. Earth left with a dangerously-low quota of humans who are dwindling fast. This book keeps you guessing, fast paced, with many plot twists.
A good hook, which gets off to rocky start as I got a little restless not knowing where the story was heading, but it drew me in, ultimately, with plenty of action and interesting characters.
This story is a meld of science and fiction with adventure to boot; features space travel, planetary shields, time-traveling, terraforming, friendly polar bears…there is enough here to keep SF and space opera fans turning the pages. Also a set of solid main characters, a main character who gets under your skin and is insanely likeable, and a villain who seems overly villainly, if you like them like that. Like how depraved can a guy get? But the author weaves in his motive and it all makes sense in the end.
There’s some romance and an alluring female protagonist which adds spice, but some head scratches and eye rolls from me as to how a lone man could terraform a planet single-handedly or create an empire as far out as Jupiter, or a main character who wishes for a miracle and it happens…like a silver-domed shield suddenly popping into existence over a hub.
That aside, Paolinelli is a fine writer of weaving narrative and dialogue, and kept me engaged. I liked the philosophical overtones he sprinkled throughout, and the compelling world-building. I wish some of the science was explained more, like the slingshot effect that takes a ship up to eight million miles per hour, and how planets could be terraformed, and how thoughts could be controlled by an electronic device.
I recommend this book for readers of SF who like their stories fast paced, with a likeable hero who proves himself, and is not afraid to risk his life for the benefit of others.
Let me caveat this review by saying that I am not a huge reader of science fiction but am a reader with an open mind. Thankfully, I can say that being open minded has led me to a wonderful discovery in Richard Paolinelli’s book, Maelstrom. It is worth reading and I’m happy I did.
The strong part of any science fiction story in my opinion is the ability to communicate a future world/thought/feeling in such a way that is accessible to the reader. What is immediately compelling about this book is the author’s ability to create a three dimensional character who sucks you into the drama as it unfolds.
The events around him are not throwaway descriptions but integral to the overall integrity of the story. I was happily surprised by this. Even as a sci-fi novice, I found myself not only entertained by the story, but eager to read more.
The book is a quick read, which is a testament to the author who demonstrates a skillful hand at taking the reader on an adventure he or she won’t soon forget.
Please click HERE to find Maelstrom on Amazon.