The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat - a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow.
When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission.
Freda's misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster - a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires' tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust?
As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon - and protect the future of 'blue gold'.
When I first started reading "Blue Gold" by David Barker it felt like I was venturing into the world of James Bond! Plenty of action, a fast paced plot and a tremendous thought provoking storyline, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this brilliant book. I don't normally read science fiction or futuristic style stories but I bought this through the monthly Urbane Book Club and I'm glad that it was included in that month's package or I probably would have missed out on a very entertaining book. "Blue Gold" - in my opinion - requires your full concentration and attention to do the story the justice it deserves. Set in the not too distant future and with the threat of a world war for water there are a few timelines running throughout so you do need to keep track of where you are with the intelligent storyline, but it does however all come together at the end perfectly. I loved Sim and Freda, I thought they teamed up brilliantly together and were very engaging characters - though all the characters were well portrayed. There's also some interesting nuggets of information at the start of each chapter referring to some of the details in that chapter and there's also a brilliant author's note at the end of the book too. I will certainly be thinking about our unlimited access to water in a different way from now on and realise just how lucky we are. "Blue Gold" is very well written, polished and professional that will appeal to many a thriller fan. Once again Urbane Publications have printed another beautifully designed book that makes a change to all the mass market editions flooding the shelves. I highly recommend this book to thriller and sci-fi fans alike and I look forward to the next book in the series "Rose Gold".
When I read the book description of ‘Blue Gold’ I was immediately fascinated by this read. Although I don’t read a lot of thrillers, this was a read that just interested me. Who doesn’t want to read more when you read about Climate Change? It’s such a ‘hot’ subject at the moment, I definitely wanted to read what could be written about this subject. Especially in a thriller!
I haven’t been reading a lot of thrillers lately. And it took me a while to get into this story, and not because of any lack of action. Not at all! This book is really action filled, but since I don’t read a lot of thrillers I found I couldn’t concentrate on this book as much as I would have liked. But thankfully, David Barker is a writer that makes his readers want to keep on reading and I kept going.
What I didn’t really expect was the science fiction, futuristic part of this book. I don’t read a lot of sci- fi novels and so it took me a little while to really appreciate the whole ‘set in the future’ part. But in the end I started to enjoy this book more. And the author did a great job with the world building.
The two main characters Jim and Freda where fun to read about. I think they made a fun team and I enjoyed reading about their journey together. Jim was really humoristic at times. And I just enjoyed reading about his character.
Although this book was definitely fun, I just didn’t really love it. And I think it’s mainly because of the genre. I can definitely say I’m not really into the science fiction stories at the moment. And although this book isn’t as sci fi as let’s say ‘Star Wars’, it still just wasn’t something I particularly liked. But the writing in this book was from the beginning very good and interesting and there was some great world building and awesome characterizations.
This is action packed and fast paced from the very start and it had me hooked instantly! Set in the not too distant future the world is struggling with drought and water rations, and war is breaking out over it hence the term Blue Gold - we all know of Black Gold being Oil and the cause of past wars, now it is water that everyone is fighting over.
Sim and Freda are out unlikely saviours in this book and the whole thing has a very James Bond feel to it - espionage, terrorism, war, hopping from country to country tracking down with head honchos. This is not a book you can just pick up willy-nilly, it demands your attention and with so much going on you will not want to put it down anyway!
Blue Gold was a really great read, and covers a a very scary concept that could eventually happen in the not to distant future! I cant wait to read the next book in this series, if it anything like this then I am going to love it!
I really love a book that is set not too far into the distant future as there are still so many recognisable traits of today, with the addition of anything is possible too. Now everyone knows about global warming and well in this story the changes to stop it happening were just a little too late . Water has become a much sort after commodity causing world unrest. Well things hadn’t progressed for the better in a lot of ways and so it soon turns into a, get in first and take control before someone else does, sort of situation. I quickly found myself in an all action quick paced thriller. Well ok the two saviors in the story aren’t quite Jason Bourne, even between them, but they get ten out of ten for effort and pure entertainment value from me! The two main ‘good guys’ come as inexperienced Sim Atkins a satellite specialist and Special Agent Freda Brightwell as they are thrown together to find themselves in the right place at the wrong time with some hefty experienced terrorists. It leaves them on the wrong side of the law with only one option that will take them on one hell of a journey. They have to prove their innocence and come out on top if the world is to regain some sort of fair balance and them their good names back. I just loved the scenes where Freda ran circles round Sim they were just brilliant, though I did feel for him in his lack of experience. The dialogue is rich and the action is just awesome making it a brilliant read but one in which you need full concentration as it switches between present and past. Loved the film and book quotes which you can check how many you actually managed to pick up on at the end of the book along with some real facts. These made me stop and think. We take so much for granted and it has left me with the what ifs flying round my mind. The good news is this is the first of a series with book 2 out very soon.
I found this book very entertaining! Blue Gold is a fast-paced spy thriller set in the near future in a world facing global conflict due to the scarcity of water. A clever plot unfolds across the world whilst side stories enrich the main storyline. A cool premise, interesting scientific and tech themes, and believable characters make this a fun read!
On one level this is an action-packed page turner with compelling characters. It is written in a non-linear style that makes it interesting to piece together the background to the main plotline. Also, the author has a fun habit of including references to other films and books though out the story (and, as I discovered reading the afterword, it turns out I only found a minority of the references).
That alone would make this a worthwhile read. But underlying all of the action is a fascinating depiction of a future world where climate change and other natural calamities have changed our way of life, in particular with regard to potable water. To me this was by far the best part of the book, as the futuristic scenarios were at once plausible and alarming, making for a compelling backdrop throughout the book.
Highly recommended, especially for anyone interested in the future challenges around sourcing clean water.
I'm not usually a fan of futuristic or science fiction novels, but I made an exception for Blue Gold as it is set in the not too distant future with a completely believable and frighteningly real storyline: a global water shortage.
Blue Gold really starts with a bang as we meet Sim and Freda, British OFWAT agents, as they are descending a snow covered mountain with a helicopter shooting at them. To find out what they are doing on a mountain and why somebody wants rid of them, we must rewind a few years to get the full story. The story takes Sim and Freda across the globe, even stopping off at the wonderfully imaginative exclusive sea state of Marinus, as they track terrorists and encounter double agents.
Hidden throughout the book like little easter eggs are quotes and references to so many movies that I lost count. The author lists these movies in his notes at the end and I was surprised to see how many I had missed. Of course, when you are engrossed in the story you don't always spot things like this until they are pointed out but I found it quite fun to spot them as I was reading. I did laugh out loud when Sim said that he hadn't heard of Star Wars, which he refers to as an ancient two-dimensional film! As unbelievable as that sounds, it did a very good job of reminding me that I was reading a book set in the future when Star Wars would be over half a century old.
As someone with a keen interest in Roman history, I was delighted with the SPQR reference. Not used in reference to the state of Rome in this case but to remind OFWAT agents to Serve, Protect, Quench and Ration. I thought this was a great way to bring a little piece of ancient history along for the ride into the future.
It's quite fast paced and flicks rapidly back and forth between characters, but I do have to admit to the odd moment of confusion and sometimes I couldn't have really told you what was going on but it didn't stop me reading, mainly due to the magnetic pull of the two main characters: Sim and Freda. Although there are some exciting and gripping moments that maintain the high pace, I would have liked to have read more about the effects of the water shortage to perhaps really drive home the important message within the book. Blue Gold has taken a step in the right direction towards raising awareness of water shortages and kudos to David Barker for doing so; ultimately it is up to us to make a difference before the fiction we have just read becomes reality.
I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
You'd have to have been in a coma to not realise that climate change is (rightly) at the forefront of our collective social and political consciousness at present. In Blue Gold, David Barker imagines a near future in which the demand for water has meant the international community is on the brink of world war as various countries and terrorists resort to increasingly violent measures in the race to hold control over this 'blue gold'. The book opens with a brief but exciting scene which introduces international OFWAT agents, Sim and Freda. As Sim finds himself in a perilous position, he reflects on how much his life has changed in a such a short space of time, having received a phone call just two months ago which changed everything for him. The storyline then switches back to this moment, when Sim is called in to work after a monitoring satellite over Iceland suddenly disappears. He quickly suspects it has been purposely brought down as an act of either war or terrorism and it is his report to OFWAT's HQ which results in him being paired with seasoned agent, Freda. As the book progresses it soon becomes obvious that this is not a novel written with a linear timeline and alongside the main storyline featuring Sim and Freda's danger-fraught international trail, there are scenes set at various key moments in this world's history, from 2018 onwards. It makes for a complex read and for those readers who prefer a more straightforward narrative, I suspect the introduction of numerous characters and scenes which aren't obviously linked to the main story, may be a little too complicated. However, I really enjoyed what is an immersive and really quite unnerving exploration of how the world might react to the ever-growing need for water. It's impossible not to compare this potential future scenario with the wars and terrorist acts which have arisen due to the demand for oil. I thought the little excerpts from the O.D. (Overseas Division) Training Manual were a lovely extra touch and an indication as to the level of detail David Barker has used to create this entirely believable world. Likewise, right at the end of the book, after the author's notes, there is another treat for readers; 'Extracts From: "A Potable History of W³, The World War for Water" by A Wardle.' and though it's not necessary to read this part, I would urge you to do so. Blue Gold is a novel which demands attention but rewards its readers with a fast-paced, riveting plot set in a well-crafted and only too realistic future. The main characters, Sim and Freda are both intriguing protagonists and I enjoyed the dynamic between the pair. During the course of the novel, the meandering narrative gives us vital glimpses into their pasts and it's fascinating to discover what brought them to this point and what effect it has had on them. Although both are highly resourceful and capable agents, they are troubled by what they encounter and are rather reluctant heroes who don't seek adventure but are motivated by a desire to prevent war. In the author's notes at the end, David Barker includes some important facts about the global demand for water which means the possibility of conflict over water resources is only too plausible - by 2030, over half the word's population will live in areas of high water stress. Blue Gold is a compelling speculative action thriller but it is also a heartfelt call for more awareness of this crucial issue. I highly recommend you take the time to read on after the story concludes for more information including links to various charities and organisations who are endeavouring to address the ongoing challenge. Blue Gold is a disturbing look at what may lie ahead for us but it is also an exciting, thought-provoking and thoroughly engaging eco-thriller. I'm looking forward to discovering what happens next in the sequel, Rose Gold. Highly recommended.
Amazing start and has me gripped. The story is broken down into three separate sections. The first starts with with the backgrounds of the characters and setting up the world the story is set in. The setting is Earth in the future with the war over water. It has a brilliant start and pull to the story and very happy to have a copy before release to review this story. I hope it continues to keep me gripped.
Just finished up the second part and a great character development and storyline.
No nasty cliffhanger at the end even though I heard that there will be more to come in the series. I could be wrong but if there is more I will be adding on to my wish list.
Thanks to the author through NetGalley for a review copy. This does not influence my review.
Set in a possible near future, this story has enough topicality to be both riveting and worrying. Water, which has always been a precious commodity, in places where it is sparse, now arrives on the global terrorist agenda. Water is essential for life, and therefore controlling its dissemination, storage and use makes it a powerful weapon of mass destruction.
The story focuses on an initial incendiary terrorist activity, and the role of two agents of the Overseas Division OFWAT, which for those like me who don’t know is the Water regulatory authority. In reality, since 1989 this refers to the economic regulation of the privatised water and sewage companies. In this scenario, the overseas division is aligned with MI6 and fights against water terrorism. The existing organisation is defined in the author’s notes but a simple explanation within the story would be helpful, for ease of reading.
The story begins with the agents in desperate circumstances but then goes back in a real-time way to fill in the gaps and get the reader to where they are now. The main characters are realistic with interesting backstory and flaws and dedication to the cause. There is also a cast of additional characters who each play their part in this geopolitical thriller.
The story is adrenaline led and realistic. The narrative makes many astute political comments on climate change and the importance of key natural resources, not normally the subjects of wars in past decades.
Climate change and the political situation it evokes is on most people’s minds and this thriller portrays a worrying escalation of terror threats and global power struggles over something humanity needs to survive.
Fast-paced, with relatable characters and events and an ominous realistic edge.
I received a copy of this book from Urbane Publications in return for an honest review.
This is a great read. Fast paced, action packed, and with well defined and finely crafted characters. The action takes place all over the world and looks well researched. Moreover, the underlying subject matter - the likely global shortage of water - is thought provoking and worrying in equal measure. There is a strong message here about the consequences of inaction as one of the world's scarcest resources becomes more and more sought after by the rapidly industrialising Asian blocs. If you want an intelligent, thoughtful, fast paced thriller, this book is for you. A very impressive debut.
This book is 291 pages of pure entertainment! It was like a high speed chase where I just couldn’t look away, not even for a second. The story is action packed from start to finish and that’s what I loved most about it. I can’t imagine living in a world where we fight for water, we take this resource for granted so much and Sim and Freda’s fight shows how easily we do. I enjoyed reading how these two characters put their lives on the line time and time again, I had to gold my breath a couple of times. I enjoyed the pace and action of the book and the links to films – I tested the other half on a couple o didnt get, these are listed at the end of the book, great little feature. It pays to pay attention with this book, there is so much going on that if you take your eye off the ball you’ll miss something, and that something could play a big part in the story…. so pay attention, buckle yourself in and enjoy the whirlwind that is Blue Gold!
This is an unusual and brilliantly-paced thriller. It's got a message and echoes in your mind as a warning, without overcooking the subtext. So, read it as a globe-trotting page-turner, or take a little more from the story - our abuse of resources, the way the little guy always suffers first. I found myself thinking about it long after I put the book down. Highly recommended.
A future that feels disturbingly close! Yes you want to keep reading - each chapter screams along and easily digestible during a commute, but also enjoyed pausing to consider and guess the next twist and turn. The political angles keep pace with the humanity of the characters in action-packed sequences. Obviously an experienced writer who adds humour to a formidable topic. Loved the "old" references to movies of my generation and found the opening definitions of each chapter fun to connect with momentum of story. Excellent pace with good dose of contemplation.
Set in the near future, this is a sci-fi thriller about how climate change could lead to a war for water. Water has become a precious commodity and is now the focus of political powers around the world, and some will go to extreme lengths to ensure that their supply remains plentiful. The oversight of water politics is now under the care of an organisation called OFWAT, whose job it is to ensure the global supply of water is shared maintained.
When a satellite goes missing over the Arctic under suspicious circumstances, Sim Atkins (OFWAT computer scientist) thinks he knows why. Sim's expertise leads to him being drafted into the coveted Overseas Division of OFWAT, with experienced agent Freda Brightwell for a partner. Freda is less than happy about having rookie Sim as her new partner, especially since this is shaping up to be a dangerous mission, but they soon reach an understanding which makes them a good partnership.
This mission will take them around the globe and bring them into contact with some unexpected allies, as they follow the leads uncovered by their investigation - ending in a climax that will put their lives in deadly peril. They must succeed in their mission if they are to save the World from war and protect the future of "blue gold".
Well, this book was a lot of fun! With shades of James Bond, and a little John McClane thrown in for good measure, Sim and Freda pursue their mission to stop the "scumbags" and save the World from nuclear war. This is a rip-roaring, full-on thrill ride around the globe - tracking down leads and working hard for good.
I absolutely loved the film references spread liberally through the text - Mr Barker, we have obviously seen and enjoyed the same films! Can I have a kudos for saying that I have spotted an extra reference not listed in the back of the book? The scene on board the barge, with a ticking bomb, actually reminded me quite a lot of Die Hard With A Vengeance (Die Hard III)!
The message of this book, however, raises it above your ordinary thriller, and leaves you with quite a lot to think about. I think this is a great way to introduce the thriller audience to the importance of water politics, alongside a fun story.
Climate change is already leading to global the changes in the water cycle, which could have catastrophic effects in some parts of the World. Living in Great Britain, we are lucky to have a good supply of water - and we are, of course, surrounded by water too (albeit the salty variety). We probably do not spend a lot of time thinking about the parts of the World that rely on their water supply in other ways - for example, via rivers that first travel through other countries. What would happen if a country further up-river decided to interrupt the flow to protect the supply of their own citizens, but in doing so caused water shortages for their neighbours? Water can easily become a political weapon and those with the military, and or monetary, clout will probably be the winners in any such dispute. Who will how oversight in these international disputes? An interesting question...
However, fear not those of you are shy of reading geo-political tracts. This book is a cracking thriller, with heart, and a message for those of us who choose to heed it. I, for one, found it a great read and thought provoking too. I cannot wait to start on book two, Rose Gold.
I found the premise of this book very interesting - a war undertaken for water. The action takes place in the near future and revolves around two agents of OFWAT as they investigate...something, and this is where the problems began for me. I found the plot really hard to follow as it just seemed to jump from situation to situation with no real linking threads. As I mentioned above, I'm still not 100% sure what set the investigation off in the first place. Also, characters are introduced that seem to disappear with no explanation of their initial relevance. Finally, I actually found some of the characterisations quite offensive and juvenile. There are certain instances of male fantasy that creep into the narrative which I found to be unnecessary and completely unbelievable.
It is 2028 and climate change has led to droughts and water shortages across the world and gaining access to ever dwindling supplies has resulted in an increasing geopolitical tension. Terrorists are attacking infrastructure on the ground, as well as targeting the OFWAT satellite tracking system – the world hovers perilously close to a global war for water. Late on a Friday night, at his home in Scotland, Sim Atkins, a graduate in Satellite Communications who works for OFWAT, receives an urgent call to go into work where he discovers that an important satellite has suddenly vanished. He has an idea about what is happening and so is called down to headquarters in Birmingham to discuss this. His theory is believed and he is offered the opportunity to fulfil a long-held dream to join the prestigious Overseas Division, and to seek out who is behind all this dangerous activity. His delighted enthusiasm is not shared by Freda Brightwell, an experienced agent who is less than pleased to have inexperienced Sim as her new partner. When their first mission results in a valuable airship being destroyed and those responsible escaping, Sim and Freda have a strong motivation to follow the trail and redeem themselves. Their adventures take them across the world as they gradually uncover a conspiracy to divert major sources of water in the Himalayas, on which the Indian sub-continent relies. This is an action-packed story with numerous, swiftly changing timelines. Initially I found these switches rather confusing. However, as the story progressed a pattern stared to emerge which filled in the background to the situations Sim and Freda found themselves in and I stopped feeling that they disrupted my reading. The plot-development was taut and exciting and there were moments when I found my anxiety levels rising as the protagonists found themselves in grave danger. As I am not usually inclined to feel emotionally involved in such gung-ho activities, I think this is a tribute to the fact that David Barker has created very likeable characters in Freda and Sim (although my one caveat is that I found some of his stereo-typical male fantasies rather boring and juvenile!) so I found myself caring about what happened to them. I loved the fact that Freda slowly divulged parts of her childhood and her past through references to numerous films and that Sim, often totally bemused by this, at one point dismissed “Star Wars” as an ancient, two-dimensional film! In fact the author’s strong characterisations, of even the most minor of his characters, was impressive. So too was his ability to evoke a sense of time and place in his writing – to the extent that I felt hot and thirsty as I joined the characters in the desert scenes, and uncomfortably cold and hungry as I trudged with them up the snow-covered mountains! Although there was a “James Bond on speed” quality to the fast-paced action, I was able to suspend disbelief when necessary and remain immersed in the clever story-telling – and for anyone who knows me well, that in itself is remarkable! This is David Barker’s debut novel and its sequel, “Rose Gold” is due to be published next year – and, following my unexpected enjoyment of “Blue Gold”, I’m likely to be tempted to read it! I wouldn’t normally be attracted by a futuristic story (when I chose it as a book to review I didn’t know that it was!) but this is set in the very near future and the storyline is all too credible. During the 1980s a friend and I often talked about the possibility that the next world war would be fought for control over water. In some ways the idea seemed almost too frightening to contemplate then; however, the signs were already there that people in the west were too inclined to see clean water as a right rather than as a precious resource. This book certainly brings into focus the fact that this is not a resource that can be taken for granted and that we have to act now to preserve it – in fact the OFWAT agents’ motto to “Serve, Protect, Quench and Ration” would seem to be a sensible one to adopt. David Barker’s notes, which contain links to numerous websites for anyone who wants to learn more, add an excellent extra dimension to this fictional story. I hope that this easy to read but thought-provoking book is one which will be widely read and that it will, as he hopes, spark off thought, discussion and action. This is certainly a book which would make an ideal choice for reading groups.
Blue Gold is an entertaining thriller for readers who like spy stories with a splash of sci-fi. It does not necessarily fit into any one genre. The story is a little sci-fi but no more than an old school James Bond film would be. The MI6 agent characters have gadgets and with it being set in the near-future, technology is a bit more advanced. This is a pretty fast paced adventure and jumps around (geographically) quite a bit. Plus the story, by the end, is a classic tale of espionage.
David Barker did an exceptional job with the world-building. In the near future, humanity is running short on fresh water. We are not talking a Mad Max level drought, but it is enough to where governments are starting to ration. Smaller, more impoverished countries (especially those in desert/dry areas) are starting to war with each other over water sources. Simultaneously, solar flares have knocked out a lot of satellites and seriously altered global communications. Both of these factors result in a war for information among first world countries. Protagonists Sim and Freda start by chasing a terrorist plot that soon evolves into a much greater adventure.
Sim and Freda’s chase of suspects and criminals leads them all over the world. They go from Europe to America to the futuristic “ocean cities”. In a nutshell, rich people built floating cities to get out of paying taxes. This seems like something ridiculous enough to be in this kind of story, but also believable enough for some rich people to actually try. Our MI6 agents go to great lengths for the sake of stealth (in-between getting noticed and captured). They are not the only ones, however; Blue Gold does feature a few more storylines. Other plot-centric characters are relevant to the story and their purpose becomes clearer later on. Also, still in the style of classic Bond, the ending features a large battle at the bad guy’s evil lair.
There are little bits of information at the beginning of each chapter, taken from Sim and Freda’s training manuals. These seemed like a mixed bag. On one hand, they provided crucial background information in each chapter. On the other hand, that presentation made the information feel forced. If that information had been worked into the story more naturally it would have felt smoother. Overall, Blue Gold is a good story but just did not seem to really pull you in as a reader.
What a fast-paced science fiction story about climate change
I loved this book with several storylines which come all perfectly together at the end. Sim and Freda, the unlikely saviors are intriguing characters with humor, the terrorists are fascinating and the world problems are realistic. I hope I am wrong, but it isn't impossible that in the future we know a water war. Now we already have to be aware of the limitations of the water stack and we have to be more careful with how we use all our raw materials and natural resources. In this spy story we are in the nearby future and yet all those things are happened. They didn't succeed in stopping global warming and now we have a Blue Gold war. The Blue Gold of course is water like we know in the past the black gold war for oil.
It is a well--written action packed story with real heroes with flaws and highs. Yes, even the unlikely terrorists I do understand in their situation, so the author has done a good job. A spy story with unexpected twists, global conflicts and some James Bond feelings came up by reading this novel. I am looking forward to read the next ones.
This book is 291 pages of pure entertainment! It was like a high speed chase where I just couldn’t look away, not even for a second. The story is action packed from start to finish and that’s what I loved most about it.
I can’t imagine living in a world where we fight for water, we take this resource for granted so much and Sim and Freda’s fight shows how easily we do. I enjoyed reading how these two characters put their lives on the line time and time again, I had to gold my breath a couple of times. I enjoyed the pace and action of the book and the links to films – I tested the other half on a couple o didnt get, these are listed at the end of the book, great little feature.
It pays to pay attention with this book, there is so much going on that if you take your eye off the ball you’ll miss something, and that something could play a big part in the story…. so pay attention, buckle yourself in and enjoy the whirlwind that is Blue Gold!
This book tackles a problem I think the world is facing but choosing to ignore. Well, no big surprise there. While the subject is highly topical I found it difficult to negotiate the myriad characters and locations. The language, particularly the dialogue is often clunky, suggesting a much needed further edit and also a second proofread. Some characters needed to be more fully realised but at other times I wished for more suspense as particular outcomes were too obvious for my liking. I was tempted to abandon the book several times but made myself persevere as I hate giving up on a read.
I don't deal well with stories that constantly go back and forth through the timeline. I usually change the channel or close the book. However, the plot was so interesting I tried to keep going. I was tempted to quit several times and then something would spur me on. Until today.
The thread of this novel is repeatedly interupted to go back in time and INTRODUCE new characters who will also be referenced back in time as the plot continues. Each of the newly introduced characters keep coming back into the story at a later time then the prior reference, but with no relationship to the other characters timelines, so you can't really put everything into the thread.