Saturday, January 12, 2013
Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle by Marie Harbon
In the second installment of the five part Seven Point Eight series, the legacy of the OOBE project weighs heavily on the conscience of Dr. Paul Eldridge. Tahra Mamoun needs to muster all her courage and venture back into the alternative dimensions of reality. Through a series of challenging, surreal, and frightening experiences, she comes to comprehend the destructive power she can yield and must face her own demons in the process.
Paul continues his quest to understand the ancient knowledge of the cosmos, while dark forces seek to hijack his research to further a secret agenda. With their lives in jeopardy, Paul and Tahra confront their enemies against an international backdrop featuring the pyramids of Giza and the peaks of Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Sam and Ava endeavor to uncover their past, even though it make irrevocably change their lives.
In a tale of courage and tragedy, love and betrayal, their lives are interwoven around the demons of one man, Max Richardson, who'll stop at nothing to achieve his objectives.
I'm going to start by saying that while I am a huge fan of sci-fi television shows, I am not a huge fan of sci-fi books. I often times feel like sci-fi books writing does not translate into transporting the reader into another world like tv shows transport the viewer, and oftentimes the books are a little to dry for my taste. I have to say that Marie Harbon's writing style is great for sci-fi books. If more sci-fi writers wrote like she does, I think I would like the genre a lot more.
Harbon does a fantastic job with her cast of characters. There is a huge cast in this book, and she has a remarkable ability to bring them all to life. She weaves each person's story into a great ensemble tale that is both easy to follow, and even easier to find yourself enthralled by. I could probably go on and on about each one of the characters in the book, because they all elicit very strong emotional responses. I had a very strong emotional attachment to both Paul and Tahra, and when Tahra goes through some seriously hard things later in the book, my heart broke for her. Max, is so very much the "bad guy" in the book, he so clearly has an agenda, and you oftentimes find yourself wondering is he even human, he seems to have no feelings or is so narcissistic that he can't see the truth right in front of his face. Even with all his bad deeds, there were a few moments here and there where I came close to feeling bad for him, Harbon managed to make me feel for the guy who I hated through much of the novel. And Sam and Ava, let's just say that if you don't feel for them at the end of the novel then you are missing your emotion chip.
In addition to bringing the characters to life, Harbon is great at bringing the dimensions to life as well. She writes settings so well, which is even more of an accomplishment in this book because the settings vary so much from one to another. Not only does she take us around the world, but she takes us out of this world. And no matter what setting she is describing I was able to paint a picture in my head of what exactly it looked like. There is one dimension I wish she hadn't been so good at painting, because it was so terrible a place, but it really does make the difference in bringing the book to life.
This book is anything but dry and boring, in fact it's a roller coaster you which you could ride over and over and over again, by the end of the book, when you get to the last page, you will be wishing the next chronicle would hurry up and be published. Anyone who likes sci-fi is going to love this book, but I think Harbon's writing brings sci-fi to a fantastic new level, where any reader could pick up this book and find something in it for them, the characters and their relationships are so vivid that they would draw anyone in. And if you are looking for something with a love story in it, then you will find that in this book as well. If you haven't read Harbon's books yet, I recommend that you do, they are great reads!