Official Review: Killer Domes and the Chosen One

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inaramid
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Official Review: Killer Domes and the Chosen One

Post by inaramid »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Killer Domes and the Chosen One" by Gibbo Gibbs.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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There’s a reason sci-fi books are usually so long. When authors build alternate realities, create alien planets, or render their versions of a dystopian future, pages and pages of the narrative are devoted to providing readers with histories, backstories, and other necessary information. That’s why I find Gibbo Gibbs’ take on a post-apocalyptic world extremely fascinating. Killer Domes and the Chosen One is a novella of just 134 double-spaced pages. And yet despite its brevity, it has the usual hallmarks of science fiction (e.g., synthetic humans, space travel, technologically advanced society), a surprisingly vivid setting, and a rich, coherent plot.

The apocalypse has come and gone. Part of humanity fled to space while part remained on Earth, ensconced under a protective dome. In this society, humans spend their lives as inventors, where they are rated according to the value of their projects. They don’t really sleep; instead, they get rebooted (meaning, chemicals are injected into their bodies). The reboot process suppresses their negative emotions, hence enforcing the status quo of what appears to be a secluded utopia. But Maz is different. She’s special — or so she was told. Poised to take over as the dome’s leader, things change for Maz when she meets Mitch, a man on a desperate mission to save his own dome from destruction. Yes, there are other domes. Yes, much of what Maz knew about her world is a lie. And yes, Mitch is special too. A self-declared “chosen one,” Mitch enlists the help of Maz and her best friend, Hap, to save the world — one dome at a time.

Killer Domes and the Chosen One manages to be both thought-provoking and ironic. There’s something philosophical about Gibbs’ vision of an age that’s saturated with technology. Gibbs initially paints the dome as a safe haven. Then he slowly dispels the illusion, both for the characters and the readers, peeling the layers back to reveal the dome for what it is — a prison and a deadly trap. There’s also something satirical about the way Gibbs exploits the literary trope of the chosen one. Both Maz and Mitch have a hero complex, including an inflated sense of self-importance that makes them nearly impossible to like. However, they both undergo their own rude awakenings as the plot thickens, and how they deal with their frailties and shortcomings takes the story to interesting directions.

Gibbs’ characters are memorable but not necessarily relatable. Most of the story is told through the third-person perspective of Maz, and she often describes people in demeaning ways. In her eyes, nearly everyone is stupid, moronic, or inferior. I also think her treatment of Hap is practically bullying, even bordering on abuse. However, given Hap’s lack of purpose outside of his relationship with Maz, commiserating with him is difficult. Mitch has some good moments when he’s interacting with his lover or his robot best friend, but his obsession to play the hero often overshadows his other qualities. Gibbs did leave some unresolved plot points, implying that there may be more of the story to come. If so, there’s definitely room for the characters to grow some more.

I rate Killer Domes and the Chosen One 3 out of 4 stars. While the plot and the setting were handled well, I can't say the same for the character development. The text is also not error-free, with a few issues in punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure. Overall, this is for readers who want a fast-paced story, particularly those who don’t have the patience or the time to wade through longer sci-fi works out there. If you’re looking to dip your toe in the sci-fi genre, this is also a good place to start.

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Killer Domes and the Chosen One
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Michelle Fred
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Post by Michelle Fred »

I find the premise fascinating despite the egoistic and unrelatable characters. I will check it out. Thanks for sharing.
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Post by rumik »

It's a grand feat to show the reader an entirely new world in so little pages, I'm definitely intrigued now. I guess the more you focus on the setting, the more you forget about your characters. Thanks for the detailed review.
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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea »

The plot of this book sounds really interesting, and I like how the author takes the cliche "chosen one" literary trope and sort of turns it on its head. Thanks for your review!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." -- George R.R. Martin :techie-studyingbrown:
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Post by esp1975 »

Some of the best science fiction I have ever read has been in the form of short stories (Ray Bradbury and Arthur C Clarke were masters of the form), so I am always excited about new, well done, short, science fiction. This definitely sounds like an interesting book. You say there is some character development that takes place but there's room for more. I think that's great - there's always room for each of us to grow. I'll have to consider picking this one up.
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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

I appreciate strong world-building skills in sci-fi/fantasy authors (well, all authors really), but it's unfortunate that the author sacrificed his character development to focus elsewhere. I may give this one a look because I love the premise. I'll have to give it a bit of thought. Great review!
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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

While this isn't something that I would normally read, I thought you did a great job describing the book! Sometimes I wish I could just be rebooted! Thanks for the great review!
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Post by ivana7 »

Science fiction is not something I often love to read, but given that it is not a huge book and that it has an interesting concept, it might be worth a try.
Thank you for your review!
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Khalayi254
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Post by Khalayi254 »

I am pulled to read this book since it is in third person and it is a quick read. The domes sound very interesting and the fact that some people fled to space. Definitely going to take a look.
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Post by kdstrack »

Your description of the book sounds like science fiction! Only 134 pages and double-spaced?? The author did some excellent writing to present the characters and peel back the plots you have described in such a short book. This looks like an author I would like to get to know. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Post by corinaelena »

I might enjoy a quick read with so many interesting aspects involved in it. It sounds incredibly entertaining! Great review!
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inaramid
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Post by inaramid »

Thanks for dropping by, everyone!

For a novella, I think the author did a great job building up the setting in a gradual (totally non-overwhelming) way. Some characters could be fleshed out a little bit, but I understand that's the trade-off considering the length. But overall, this was an easy, fast-paced read.
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Post by unamilagra »

Ooh, I really like the premise of this book. It's great that the author was able to create a world in so short a book. It's too bad it seems to come at the expense of the characters, who seem pretty unlikable. Great review!
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inaramid
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Post by inaramid »

unamilagra wrote: 23 Sep 2019, 19:41 Ooh, I really like the premise of this book. It's great that the author was able to create a world in so short a book. It's too bad it seems to come at the expense of the characters, who seem pretty unlikable. Great review!
Thanks for dropping by! I'm looking forward to a possible sequel to this work. Perhaps the issues will be resolved by then.
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Mbrooks2518
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Post by Mbrooks2518 »

I'm not a big science-fiction fan, and the plot didn't interest me much, so I'll pass.
Great review, though!
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