Author: Neal Stephenson
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The moon blew up upon impact with an unknown force, that is come to be known as the Agent. The night sky takes on a different look as the human race prepares themselves for an inevitable Hard Rain, up to 5000 years of meteors and bolides striking plant earth and dismantling it to an age of fire. Every living thing upon its surface will be destroyed. Desperate for survival, the world “comes together” and forms a program named the Cloud Ark, intent upon sending the best, brightest, and varied lot of humans to attach to the International Space Station and survive the next millennias. And so the ISS must also prepare for them.
Stephenson introduces to us a wide range of emotional characters, each very independent and strong, that have to digest this unfathomable news and settle in with their new roles to keep humanity alive. His writing is incredibly thorough and detailed to work out every working piece of this disaster scenario. You are guaranteed to not come away lacking in any aspect of space survival, mechanics, and comprehensive long-term planning.
While I really enjoyed part one and two of Seven Eves, at part three my interest began to wane terribly. After we are left with the seven women that begin to recreate the human race, we fast forward into time to where there are now seven races, each being genetically and personally like their initial Eve. The Hard Rain has ended and they are now in the process of re-growing(Terraform) the Earth below.
Here was where Stephenson’s writing took a turn for the over-meticulated details of machinery and places to the point where I was bored. It became extremely dry with no plot movement and just descriptions of everything. I found myself skipping pages and moving to sections where there was dialogue or some form of action.
I had another issue with the unrealistic plot at this point as well. You’re telling me that somehow out the seven last women to survive in space miraculously two of their close personal relatives survived as well on Earth? One through a mining set up and the other by moving to the depths of the Ocean? It seems impossible that those chances would work out. I’m alright with perfected endings sometimes, but this one was just too much. There is no way when the earth was a boiling pot of fire and brimstone that there was still water cool enough to survive in. Even in the trenches. Same goes with digging to go down below. Even if they did accomplish the cave-like survival, then who is to say that no other set of people from the entire world could not have also had some success? Why is that only the two Eve’s family were the ones to make it on the planet?
And then there was the whole issue of the cheesy look back to the Epic (when ISS landed on the section of the moon where they would rebuild the human race) and references to their Eves and their qualities. Five thousand years later and they still talk about those women as if it occurred yesterday? In my opinion, that may be covered in a history course of the future, but other than that the origin side of it would be forgotten on a daily basis.
Maybe Stephenson will have a sequel that will answer some of those questions. But until then, I will probably just be annoyed with the happy, “oh, goody!” ending.
If you are in the mood for an interesting piece of science fiction that deals with the planning and turmoil of the inevitable end of the world, this one is for you.