4 out of 4 stars
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I knew that Panama Canal exists but never did I know that it is a very significant part of the earth. Its creation shortened the distance that ships had to travel to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It serves for shippers of commercial goods to save time and money by transporting cargo more quickly. Its commercial operation started in 2016. The Panama Canal is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The Expansion by Christopher Martin is an informative political thriller which gives relevant information on economic, political, and personal issues.
Max burns was a promising British geomatics engineer who reached the peak of his career. CISCO chose him to lead the Panama expansion project because of his background. Life was not easy for Max Burns because his big break was coupled with corruption, sabotage, deceit, espionage, and murder. Everything has been set before Max realized that his profession, life, and his country are in peril.
The Panama expansion project was not only a competition of private engineering companies. It was also a competition of states with personal interests. Political leaders are ready to gamble billions of dollars to manipulate the project. This went to the extent of sacrificing significant personalities and ruining longtime state relationships. Innocent individuals like Max Burns, Karis Deen, and Godfredo who were not exposed to the complexities of the business and political world were used and manipulated.
I am awed by how the author organized the events from the prologue to the last chapter. All the characters are relatable. Martin excellently assigned the different kinds of emotions, insights, and personalities to the primary and secondary characters. The fast transition of events in the story kept me alive and excited. The descriptions about the Panama Canal compelled me to watch documentaries about the place. It is evident that the book has undergone professional editing because I did not encounter any grammatical or typographical error.
The only issue that I have with this master piece is the representation of the international bidding for the expansion project. The author awarded the project to a single company which is CISCO. In reality, the Panama expansion is not an easy project for a company alone. It needs several companies from different engineering fields to collaborate.
I did not have any second thought of giving this book 4 out of 4 stars because it opened a door for a new knowledge to me. This book is perfect for those who are in the fields of economics, political science, international relations, and history. I support the author if he plans to create a sequel to this book because there are a lot more to uncover about the characters and the issues introduced in the story.
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