2 out of 4 stars
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Earth is in danger of extinction. Humankind must survive. So, the most brilliant minds from Earth come up with a plan to save, at least a small part of, humanity. It is now up to the residents of New Eden to colonize their new world and save humanity from extinction. It will not be easy; they will face many obstacles along the way. They must find a way to overcome dangerous terrain, horrifying creatures and even a megalomaniac. Will humankind continue into the future? Will the residents of New Eden find a way not just to survive but to thrive?
The Third Thaw by Karl J Hanson is a science fiction novel of about 300 pages. Though the setting is classic for a science fiction novel, it more closely resembles an adventure, especially with the encounters with deadly creatures and an unexplored environment. While there is some graphic violence, much of the novel is clean, making this story suitable for teenagers as well as adults.
The most fascinating aspect of this novel was seeing how a completely new civilization was built. The new "settlers" were not able to bring every piece of technology from Earth. Their new setting is limited, not only in means but in population. It's humankind almost starting over again. I enjoyed following along while they rebuilt and tried to attain some measure of the technology that was left behind.
Having said that, the biggest issue I had with the book was the sheer amount of knowledge the author tries to include. First is the overwhelming number of characters. I guess it's somewhat understandable as this is a completely new world. Still, none of the characters were really the central focus, so it was hard for me to keep track of them all. Also, this book is classified as hard science fiction on Amazon, which simply means that the book tries to be as scientifically accurate as possible. However, it seems that the author, in trying to be scientifically precise, also decides to inundate the reader with as much knowledge as possible. The sheer volume of information is overwhelming at times, to the detriment of the plot, which creates an imbalance between story and science.
For example, in traversing the planet, the settlers from New Eden run into various animals. We are treated to the name of their closest relative on Earth, as well as what period in history they are from. In addition, we are given a biology lesson on why exactly their body is shaped thus. Furthermore, many times the knowledgeable characters will tell us what they evolved into. Unfortunately, there are many, many examples of the presence of too much information. It overtakes the story. Some of my favorite books have not only been fun but have imparted wisdom and knowledge to me as well. I'm all for that; but, in this instance, there is so much knowledge as to take all the fun out of reading the story.
Regrettably, Mr. Hanson does not convey as much information about his characters as he does the scientific knowledge. And, there are plenty of characters with which to interact. At one point, the author simply provides a list of which character married who. It just took the fun out of the story. I wanted the author to spend more time helping us to understand the characters rather than just imparting his impressive mastery of science.
In addition, the novel was not professionally edited. There were many misplaced commas as well as missing words and misspelled words. On a similar note, towards the end, the author brings in the German language. Every time he does so, the phrase was written first in German and then translated into English. This felt very clunky and interrupted the flow of the story.
I rate Third Thaw 2 out of 4 stars due to the lack of editing as well as the imbalance between story and science. Parts of the story are completely entertaining with the characters fighting for their lives. Other parts, though, are simply overwhelmed with information, so much so that the story is momentarily lost, creating a great disconnect. I recommend this mainly to those that want to learn more about various eras in the Earth's history and how early inventions came about. However, this book is heavy on evolution, so I wouldn't recommend it to those that believe in intelligent design.
The Third Thaw
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