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The Effort

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  24 reviews
When dark comet UD3 was spotted near Jupiter’s orbit, its existence was largely ignored. But to individuals who knew better — scientists like Benjamin Schwartz, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies — the threat this eight-kilometer comet posed to the survival of the human race was unthinkable. The 150-million-year reign of the dinosaurs ended when an aste ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  39 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The nitty-gritty: A thought-provoking tale of survival, The Effort raises interesting questions about life in the face of impending disaster.

The Effort is an ambitious debut about a comet that is hurtling towards Earth and the team of scientists who are tasked with stopping it. There are all sorts of directions you can take with this type of scenario, and I have to say that The Effort surprised me and did not go where I thought it was going. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, and I enjoyed Hol
David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to get an early copy of this book, and I'm happy to share what I wrote about it--do yourselves a favor and pick this book up.

Page-turner of the year! In the grand tradition of Stephen King’s THE STAND, Pat Frank’s ALAS, BABYLON, and J.T. McIntosh’s ONE IN THREE HUNDRED. Call it a techno-thriller, call it apocalyptic fiction—I call it great writing. This is an important and provocative novel, one that should be read by all who care about the future of the planet and humanity’s rol
Scott Hines
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Effort is a beautiful and thought-provoking book that deserves a place alongside the very best world’s-end fiction; it seeks to understand who we are by considering how we might end.

The story follows an interwoven set of stories as the world grapples with the discovery of an eight-kilometer-wide “dark comet” that, if not stopped, will likely annihilate all life on Earth in a matter of mere months. A fractured world scientific community desperately plans a last-ditch effort to divert the proj
Sarah Jeng
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The gorgeous cover on this one snagged my attention right away. Basic summary: a comet is on a collision course with Earth, and a team of scientists, engineers, and other professionals assembles in order to redirect or destroy it. But this debut addresses much more than just The Effort, which is the code name given to the massive undertaking to save humanity. This is a big book, with a large number of characters providing insight into issues such as climate change, exploitation and genocide, and ...more
J.S. Dewes
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A smart, authentic tale about humanity, friendship, and survival, THE EFFORT offers a unique and unexpected take on apocalyptic fiction that will stay with me for years to come.

I fell in love with every one of the characters, each alluring and relatable in their own way. The diverse locations and circumstances of each perspective give the reader a sweeping yet intimate look at the collapse of society as seen first-hand from those living it.

THE EFFORT takes a hard look at issues of internationa
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Effort by Claire Holroyde is a highly recommended apocalyptic tale that starts with an end-of-the-world-by comet scenario and morphs to a novel about human nature.

When the 8 km dark comet UD3 was spotted on a trajectory to hit the Earth one of the first people recruited by the U.N. to help with what will be called The Effort is Benjamin Schwartz, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. He and his girlfriend Amy Kowalski are flown to French Guiana in South American to help as
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I find that these days, I enjoy being prepared for all the possible apocalyptic scenarios, as one does. But The Effort went ahead and reminded me that we needn't bother, because human nature is to devolve into chaos and anarchy and frankly, the author is right. This is the commentary that is less hopeful, but more rooted in reality, and I am here for it.

The book opens with news of a come
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a thoughtful and thought provoking novel. It is far from simplistic, but easy to read with welcomed moments of levity, and much of it will stick with me for quite some time. The opening lines drew me in, and then Claire Holroyde's characters had me hooked, rooting for them and consequently all of "us." The race against the comet's impending impact is the acute tension throughout the novel, commanding the world's attention, but not far under the surface is Holroyde's commentary of the no- ...more
Katherine Forrister
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"The Effort" is a fantastic example of apocalyptic sci-fi. The sweeping global perspectives, told through a diverse set of characters (both of origin and life experiences) creates a very real sense of how individuals might react to a world-ending situation. It's easy to fall into the pessimistic stance of how humanity as a whole could descend into chaos and self-destruction as a foregone conclusion, but Holroyde dissects the reason why that reaction would occur with a thoroughness that invokes d ...more
M.J. Kuhn
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book and let me tell you guys, you do not want to miss this one. I read almost the entire thing in one day, I could not put it down.

THE EFFORT is by far the most real-feeling disaster event book I have ever read. First of all, I cannot even imagine the amount of research Holroyde must have done for this story. Not just the science, but the politics and the cultural information present in the story. THE EFFORT takes a wholistic view of a disaster, not a "
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Reads like The Lady Astronaut meets Von Trier 's Melancholia. What would happen if news of a humanity-eradicating comet were to spread worldwide?

This book has many of the same old tropes you've come to expect from similar titles, but is very much a product of our time. A solid read, even if its characters didn't work for me and the ending didn't entirely convince me.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Review coming soon.
Jane Gilmartin
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Claire Holroyde’s THE EFFORT and it is not a story I will soon forget. A fast-paced, sweeping tale of impending planetary doom, the novel manages to be both global in its setting (from The Bronx to the Arctic Ocean to Mexico City to Guiana) and intimate in its characters. As an asteroid hurtles toward Earth, we see the crisis through the eyes of many - from the scientists attempting a solution, to a family already mourning its own losses, to the crew of a pol ...more
Michelle Taylor
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Solid hard sci-fi near-future imagining of life in the eye of an extinction level comet event. The gritty reality of a failing social system and scientific effort of survival is buoyed by strong and complex characters and relationships.

The book spools out like a film and grabs you with a fisted grasp. Joy, love, grief, pain, horror and hope all vie for attention as you plunge into a nightmare with these people. Holroyde weaves the narrative of people across the globe and across all levels of ex
Casey Berger
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I got the chance to read an advance copy of this ambitious, compelling debut from Claire Holroyde, and I'm so glad I did. This debut is extremely ambitious -- from the stakes of a looming extinction event to the scope of a very large ensemble cast -- it showcases the hearts and souls of individuals against a backdrop of the very best and the very worst humanity has to offer.

The prose is clean and crisp, and the wide, global setting provides some bittersweet context: humanity is scrambling to sav
Elissa Dickey
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This breathtaking book takes you on an unforgettable journey of humanity's last stand against an impending comet. Fans of Station Eleven will devour this masterpiece, which takes readers to the heart of The Effort itself, where scientists from around the world are racing against the clock on the countermeasure, code-named "The Effort."

But readers are also shown the heart-breaking, terrifying effects as normal life starts to crumble away for people on the Healy, a polar icebreaker in the Arctic,
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it

What happens when a comet is destined to hit Earth? A secret international team is quickly cobbled together to try to figure out a way to deflect the comet's path. Meanwhile, a team of scientists are heading to the North Pole, with a poet and photographer in tow, to try to record the last vestiges of Arctic wildlife and the icy landscape before climate change finally wins.

We follow the individuals from these two groups as the countdown to either the comet's impact or the comet's destruction
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe this book was a victim of being read at the wrong time for me or maybe I've just read too many similar books over the years but I found it to be derivative and trope-filled.

The novel focuses on a scattered cast of characters experiencing the possibility of a comet hitting the earth. It almost feels like this should have been two different books: one focusing on The Effort (the group building the weapon that will deflect the comet from colliding with the earth) and another focusing on the
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Claire is a masterful writer who uses sound science and the fragility of the human condition to lead us through the harrowing experience of an impending comet impact. Her characters are deeply relatable and you will find yourself rooting for them as they persevere in the most trying times. Two distinct but equally engaging story lines weave a tale of climate change, astronomical disaster, love, friendship, and survival. This novel pulls you in and doesn't let you go, even after the last page has ...more
Cathy Abi-Khattar
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is amazing. The characters are so interesting, you really get invested in their stories. I couldn’t put it down. The details and the way the science is interjected in without being overwhelming is masterful. Definitely recommend.
Jan 12, 2021 added it
Full review to come.
Matthew Brukman
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast-paced apocalyptic/speculative fiction tale -- I would not call it science fiction -- stuffed with compelling characters who each provide valuable insights on human psychology and the fragility or strength of society at differing time scales.

The threat of a comet strike gives a window on the immediate term: Will society tear itself asunder in the span of six months as humanity loses hope?

The backdrop of ecological disaster offers a meditation on the long-term: How can society des
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Jan 14, 2021
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