Patrick Gibson's Reviews > Fragment

Fragment by Warren Fahy
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Apr 13, 11

bookshelves: science-fiction
Read in April, 2011

I thought that it would be yet another Jurassic Park clone (that's what it says on the cover), ie improbable situation, discovery, wonder, disaster and happy ending. What I found instead was a more plausible premise than recreation of dinosaurs. The premise here is a tiny island, well off the main shipping lines that has been isolated from the rest of the planet for millions of years giving evolution plenty of time to take a radically different path.

When the novel opens in 1791 a ship visits the island in search of fresh water, and instead of wonder, finds disaster and terror immediately. When the action shifts to the present day where a reality show, based on a research ship is looking for something to bolster their slipping ratings. When they arrive on the island they found plenty that made them a world wide phenomenon. The landing crew's first and last steps on the island are sent out on a live feed. Here the novel begins to lull the reader into thinking that now we are entering into the familiar 'running around and screaming' phase but the author has a few surprises to spring, including a major plot twist in the last few pages.

While this is a time honored premise that has been around since ‘King Kong’ and ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau,’ the author has managed to breathe new life into this well worn formula. The science involved in presented well, in a manner that makes the premise seem plausible. Just when the reader begins to think that the plot will now revert to the usual formula Fahy manages to toss in a new twist that totally changes everything. This one kept me turning pages far into the night.
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