Sunday, September 4, 2011
Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century by Robert Charles Wilson
Europe is overnight replaced with a strange land with strange plants and strange, most often poisonous animals. The geography is the same, but no trace of any human habitation remains. After a short period of puzzlement there is a scramble for new territory and resources. The main character is a photographer who takes part on an ill fated expedition to mountains which used to be called the Alps. The expedition finds a strange artificial structure before they are attacked by unknown villains. The few survivors keep a very low profile after their return, especially after some very unusual visitors contact them..
The later half of the book is pretty different from the beginning. There turns out to be strange factions fighting age old battles and the people find themselves drafted to take part of the fight. And by the end of the book things turn out to be very metaphysical and the world itself might not be what it appears.
The idea of the book is pretty good, and the first half is excellent. Unfortunately the second half is much worse. It covers a very long time – decades - in fairly sketchy manner and and even the final battle is over in a few pages and is described in very detached manner.