FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Humans can certainly not be compared with dinosaurs, but an extinction event is an extinction event is an extinction event. Extinction 6 is the second book by Hosein Kouros-Mehr I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. The first was Project Bodi, a novel in which the employees of a futuristic Google were tasked with developing Vision Smartglasses. Innovation was the key to Project Bodi’s success. Now, much older in this novel, Bethany Andrews runs Google as its CEO and Austin Sanders, the genius who invented the Vision Smartglasses, heads the company’s artificial intelligence department. Looking at the sixth extinction event, failure of their success in this novel could mean the end of far more than their company.
The year is 2066. The release of methane gas has caused temperatures to rise and the entire world is flooded. Food and water isn’t readily available. Google is the number one technology company in the world, but for the past decade they haven’t been doing well financially. America is at war against China and Russia and one way for the United States to deliver a massive blow to their enemies is to charge their enemies big time to use Google’s services. Making an all new project dubbed Project Titan work is the only thing that can save Google from loosing their core values to the War on Aggression and an investor bent on making nothing but profit. The world needs clean energy to survive. That, and a hearty dose of innovation. Can the Google team make perhaps their greatest project ever work?
Our first real glimpse of this flooded world comes from Austin Sanders as he stares out at the submerged streets of San Francisco. “Utility poles and dark traffic lights rise from the water surface.” Once famous streets are but forgotten ruins in this world. Reading that the children of this world will never know what real chicken tastes like really gets one thinking about the various things that we take for granted every day. Truly, this a world that I could easily imagine myself being in. Everything sounds so freakishly realistic that, say fifty or so years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if what the author has created here becomes our actual reality.
Project Titan differs from Project Bodi, a project that Beth and Austin have worked on almost forty years ago, in that it’s not so much about some technological advancement to trump competitors with, but rather to stop, or at least halt, the end of all humanity. The only way that can happen is if they somehow make Project Titan work and provide the world with clean energy that won’t affect the planet in a bad way. The solution they do come up with – to harness a type of energy that they learn about from the extraterrestrial species that has made contact with them – seems daunting. “It’s an impulsive idea not backed by any evidence.”
While the Google team finally comes up with a solid solution to their Project Titan problem, the government gets blasted by cyber attacks from the enemy. A number of banks and corporations go down. Kouros-Mehr has really envisioned this “War on Aggression” as something real and I liked that he has weighed sound strategies and actions for the participating sides to execute. As one of America’s two enemy countries in this war, China seems to be the bigger, or at least the more active, rival of the two, always hitting America in such a way that they feel the affects of their attacks and have to draw up counter measures because of it.
Readers can see Austin, the head of Google’s A.I. department, get high on a type of narcotic before running into a pole and giggling like a mad person. This book is crazy, to tell you the truth. But the kind of crazy science fiction geeks will find thrilling. Manos Kharon is probably a character that readers will hate, but he is a money hungry control freak that made the novel fun in his own way. Up in space, we meet two men inside a spacecraft called the USS Hawkeye and, though their conversations are always comical, they’ll surprise readers with what they have to add.
One thing that irks me about the CIA calling Austin to decode the encrypted message from what they thought was China’s Mars colony is Austin telling Gareth Allen, the Deputy Director of the CIA that “we” will take a look and Gareth being completely okay with it. Because he was who he was and what he was, I was expecting him to have pains about it and that he’d rather have Austin work on decoding the encrypted message alone. Another thing that puzzles me in this book is the $1000 subscription fee for Google’s internet services, thanks in large part to Manos Kharon, that Austin, having his kind of job and all, complains about.
I didn’t like the fact that a virtual reality game called the OASIS was written into the book for obvious reasons. Electromagnetic Pulse weapons and what they can do shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone living in the year 2066 like it is in this book. The author defines it more than once and I thought that doing it once would sit better with readers.
I can tell that the author has gone out of his way to make this book as enjoyable and fun as can be while still sticking to his primary script of what the book is really about. Just like the author’s previous offering, he maintains that solutions to any of our problems can all be found within our own minds. The best way to describe this book is to call it a cerebral rush, but the type a reader can in no way prepare for or easily escape from. Government types, big business CEO’s and senior team leaders have several bits of wisdom to take with them after reading Hosein Kouros-Mehr’s excellent work of science fiction. This is one of the best in this genre I’ve read to date.
Date Published: December 12, 2018
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