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The Effort

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  137 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 3.35  · 
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 ·  375 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book! I decided to read this book simply because it sounded interesting. I liked the idea of people coming together to save the world and there is some of that in this book. This book is more than that though. I really felt like it was a realistic view of what would happen on our planet if we knew that annihilation was a real possibility. I really liked the way this story came together and found this book to be
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
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
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. - Carl Sagan

I loved this book. In many ways it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite apocalyptic novels THE HAB THEORY, published in 1976.

In this book, an extinction-level comet measuring 8km in diameter appears from the dark side of Jupiter, heading directly for Earth.

A veritable army of physicists, mathematicians, engineers, space experts, translators and more are sent to a space centre in French Guiana to try to develop a spacecraft that
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
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
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Effort by Claire Holroyde is a science fiction fantasy novel set in a near future timeline when it’s discovered that a extinction level event is coming in the near future for the planet. An eight kilometer wide comet is heading straight for Earth which could result in an impact along the lines of that which wiped out the dinosaurs from Earth.

The book follows the paths of many different participants as they prepare for the arrival of the comet. From scientists who are working frantically for
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 "
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
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
Jan 31, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was rooting for the asteroid.

This was nothing
Dull and uneventful. A bad exacta.
The plot was all over the place. The scenes in Alaska were a total waste of time. The characters had no personality or sense of humor. Where was Michael Clarke Duncan's 'Bear'? Steve Buscemi's 'Rockhound'? Bruce Willis' "Yippee ki-yay". Ok different movie but still.

"What kind of damage are we..."
"Damage? Total, sir. It's what we call a global killer. The end of mankind. Doesn't matter where it hits. Nothing would s
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
Geonn Cannon
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Probably 3.5 rounded up. I felt the writing was strong throughout, but the ending was a bit of a letdown. Definitely not something you should read if you're especially sensitive to realistic "end-of-the-world" scenarios given the current state of the pandemic. It was nice that it was set in present-day but it went out of its way to never mention the name of the curr- FORMER President (ooo, I can say that because it will only be inaccurate for 48 hours, what a lovely thing to say) ...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
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
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 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
Claire Holroyde
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Writing this book was the most difficult challenge I have ever met. Yes, I am giving it 5 stars because I just read it again—for pleasure this time—and I am still in love with it!
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
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
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you are up for an end of the world book this is the read for you. Well-written and engaging, the author takes on some of the current world issues with a sharp pen. Hopefully it isn’t forgotten by the end of the year, because it should definitely make “best of” lists.
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up. It’s always a pleasure discovering a new author who has clearly invested so much research, passion and creativity into their debut novel, and The Effort is a wonderful example of this.

Without getting into spoiler territory, The Effort examines how humanity might react to an impending global catastrophe. This is not light reading; ‘The Effort’ is a singular effort to preserve the human species, at any cost required. It is an examination of what it is to be human, and how far we wo
Scott Portnoy
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
The threat of a world ending comet causes a complete devolution of civilization as we know it... sending the world into a second dark ages.
Through it all , there are survivors . The book is about the Effort to divert the comet and the relationships of the people who are left.
A captivating book but dark.
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.
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
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
The Effort is a terrifying book about the realities of life on earth when it is on a collision course with a comet that could destroy all life on the planet. There are a number of pov characters as the event is explored through the eyes of scientists, engineers and astronomers, a wildlife photographer and more, each one approaching the impending disaster in their own way. Some seek to save the world, some seek to profit off it’s inevitable destruction in the little time they have left and some s ...more
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I want to know more of what happens after!
Tonya S.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
I don't know exactly why this book was so riveting, but I found myself not wanting to put it down. The Effort is an apocalyptic novel, a story about a dark comet that's coming to eradicate humanity, and the humans trying to stop it. There are many characters, each complex and so completely real. There are lots of instances in this book that are hard to digest. The ugliest parts of a civilization breaking down. When social norms and morality fly out the window, and the animal inside us all is loo ...more
Feb 06, 2021 marked it as abandoned
I never write reviews, but reading this was trying. I won’t give this a star rating because I didn’t get far enough to make a totally fair judgement, but that being said...this book desperately needed a competent editor. All the characters are one dimensional stereotypes and the language used throughout is trite and cliched. I stopped on page 30 when the Professor “wrapped his cane on the floor.” You mean rapped?? Like, COME ON.
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