Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
Soon to be a major TV-series! I must admit that was the reason I selected just this book from my TBR-pile.
The central idea is very interesting: Everyone on earth sees a short glimpse of what happens in future about twenty years later. After falldown of the event is sorted out (during the vision everyone passes out – tough luck for anyone driving a car, standing on the top of staircases, or on an airplane making a landing at that time.) the world naturally isn't the same anymore. First it isn't clear if the future is changeable or not, but soon it turns out that it is possible to make changes to the future which was seen in the visions.
The first third of the book is pretty good. The last part is a lot less so. Especially the chase which is supposed to be one of the culminating scenes, happening along the ring of Large Hadron Collider was pretty laughable and managed to very boring and anticlimactic. The supposed surprise murderer was obvious at least for me early on, and slight misdirection for the probable culprit didn't work at all. And the final ending which crossed to metaphysics was really, really bad. Writing wasn't best I have seen, and the characters seemed to be fairly stupid and not very realistic, especially as they were supposed to be Nobel-level scientists. Another irritant was the emphasis of Canada. When the events mainly happen in CERN, why all things Canadian must be so prevalent in the novel?
As conclusion: the idea of the book is excellent, but the execution was much less so.