Posted 20 hours ago

Cold People: From the multi-million copy bestselling author of Child 44

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This book is very different from the author's previous Child 44 trilogy (I haven't read any of his other books).

Breadth has clearly been prioritised over depth in this book, and the richness of the character’s experience in this strange new world has been lost as a result. When the aliens arrive, Liza and Atto are forced to quickly take steps to save their own lives and those of their families. His first novel, Child 44, about a series of child murders in Stalinist Russia, appeared in early 2008 and was translated into 17 languages. Each town has to create a society from scratch and decide which values will be essential to its survival. This is definitely not what I was expecting, some weird romance between a giant sixteen year old girl with scales and a regular dude as boring as her father.

So it becomes a survival story and this was interesting enough but then in the middle it also becomes a Sci-fi story genetic engineering to create ‘cold people’, quite drastic changes are made, and the ethics are questionable.

Maybe these virtues couldn't ultimately save them from extinction, but they could make the last decades of people some of the best. I found this a fascinating premise though the thought of those Antarctic temperatures made me want to swaddle myself in blankets. Born in 1979 to a Swedish mother and an English father, Tom Rob Smith’s bestselling novels in the Child 44 trilogy were international publishing sensations. Captain] Moray was an expert in choosing his crew from the variety of outcasts on offer, his preference being for the melancholic, the sexual deviants and the thieves.But, added to this, is a large dollop of hubris, the arrogance of people who assume that their refusal to accept there are moral boundaries that should not be crossed and that there will be unforeseen and dramatic consequences for doing so.

I didn't find this as fulfilling as his previous writings, I think because of the genre more than anything, but the story itself was good.

I’m picky when choosing science fiction novels to read, I try to avoid scenarios I can’t simply envisage and for me this includes alien beings, particularly those with superpowers. The plotting style reminded me of Matthew Reilly, and I know you'll be thinking "that's probably because of Ice Station", but actually it's because of the action in The Great Zoo of China. Unfortunately, I found myself dissappointed multiple times with the direction of the book as it continued. Though he isn't present in every scene, he conveys each piece of the story leading up to the murder as if he were an omniscient narrator, capable of accessing every character's interior perspective. A brilliantly conceived post-apocalyptic story that tackles a well-worn subject (a desperate race to save humanity) from a new and absolutely captivating angle.

It unfolds like a movie, so there was perhaps not quite as much character development as I usually prefer, but the story was engaging. Tom Rob Smith imagines the evacuation and the panic that would ensure when it became clear that only a small number of people would be able to reach Antarctica in time. but no… pretty soon the readers starts wondering about the development of the story, which decides for catchy screen figures and is clearly written for the adaptation for a series on one of the streaming portals. The time shift into the future diluted my compassion for Liza and Atto, they were just beginning a relationship and then suddenly they are like an old married couple – she’s busy saving people in the hospital wards and he’s off becoming the fisherman he always wanted to be, all while leaving their teenage daughter to stew in her own pubescent thoughts on her own journey of self-discovery.Society has collapsed, millions trying to escape yet none of the characters have trouble finding each other amidst the chaos.

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