Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review # 139: Unnatural Selection by Thomas Price

     The ozone layer has been depleted, the earth has been scorched by a unfeeling sun, and the only plague-ridden humans on the surface must scavenge and cannibalize to survive. The "end" of civilization has come and gone, but for those that took refuge below the waves, the horrors of the surface are unimaginable. Is there life? Is the planet healing after years of misuse, overpopulation and abuse? Or is all hope for a human-sustaining environment lost? 
     Jesse Baines made it into the underwater sanctuary known as Pacifica before life on the surface collapsed, but he wants to go back to the world he left  behind. He is sick of being confined to the underwater community and pushes for trips to the mainland. Unfortunately, his neighbors and superiors don't agree with him; until that is, Pacifica is damaged and a small team must brave the surface to find replacement parts. But what begins as an adventure, turns into the team's worst nightmare when they come face-to-face with the unspeakable horrors of post-apocalyptic California; disease, radiation and mutation are just the beginning...

     Being a microbiologist, I am quite familiar with Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection, so the title, as well as the cover image (peppered moths), spiked my interest. The idea of the end of the world is not a new one, but Unnatural Selection twists that notion into something new and eerily believable. With the overpopulation, pollution, and lack of natural resources in today's world, how can everyone doubt the idea of the apocalypse? Sure, it is probably a million or so years away, but why keep pushing our limits? Thomas Pryce's above ground world is wrought with peril, strange creatures, and a landscape as barren as the Taklamakan Desert, while the underwater protective "bubble" of the Pacifica gives its inhabitants a false sense of security. The story-line is detailed, full of action and left me wanting more. Pryce's use of metaphor was exquisite, and his descriptions were a literary buffet to a reader like me! I enjoyed all of the characters, but Matrin, Jesse and Santos were my favorites. The development of the characters was also spot-on; I was disappointed to see some of them go... (no spoilers)! Dialogue was fresh and entertaining, plot was action-packed, and the ending left a sequel to be desired. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and its scientific post-apocalyptic flair! Highly recommended!

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

* I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

No comments:

Post a Comment