Gary's Reviews > Dark Secret

Dark Secret by Edward M. Lerner
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it was ok

An old scenario that has been trending again in science fiction in recent years - humanity journeying to the stars in search of a new Eden - is given a whirl by Lerner, a frequent contributor to the classic hard SF digest Analog (where this novel was first serialized).
Lerner devises an interesting, science-based scenario to hang his story on: seven thousand years ago, two neutron stars collided and sent a gamma-ray burst our way. When Dark Secret begins, the resulting particle storm is guaranteed to wipe out all life in the solar system, and only a single, experimental craft holding a handful of survivors and some frozen embryos is capable of making it clear of the event and traveling to a system with a habitable world.
The first half of Dark Secret worked well enough for me. Despite being populated by bland stock characters with obvious cut-and-dry motives, it did what old-fashioned hard SF does best - provide a gripping narrative that balances the thrill of scientific discovery with suspenseful problem solving and obstacle tackling.
Sadly, the second half of the novel sidelines the more interesting explorations of the problems humans might face in trying to inhabit an alien world, instead pitting its heroes against its boorish villain's nefarious attempts at social engineering, and the novel is dragged down into mediocrity as a result.
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Reading Progress

October 23, 2016 – Started Reading
October 23, 2016 – Shelved
October 23, 2016 – Finished Reading

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