Monday, January 25, 2010

A simple prop to occupy your time

There are certain movies I would never plan to watch, but would happily sit through if I was in a hotel with nothing else to do. I am thinking of most action movies here, or the occasional rom com. They are inoffensive time killers best used to while away lonely or waiting hours. Douglas Preston's lastest thriller Impact fits into that category for books. I wouldn't rush out to get it, but there worse ways to kill time.

Preston ably constructs a story using one of the most common plots, the Race Against Time. A young scientist working at a barely disguised Jet Propulsion Laboratory , a smart college dropout working as a waitress in Maine and Preston's recurring former CIA agent turned former monk turned back into agent begin investigating mysteries surrounding astronomical events. One of them realizes that the Earth might be facing a terrible threat, while a foolish action by one puts all their lives in danger.

The really strange thing is, the book almost ignores the more exciting existential threat to Earth storyline to focus on the danger to a few random people story line. Preston did a better job blending the personal story with the bigger picture in his last book Blasphemy. The disconnect makes the finale feel like an afterthought.

So, as I said, if you find yourself on an airplane and staring at that little map that shows the progress of your flight, this will while away the hours, but that is about all it is going to do.

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