The Ninth Metal

Author: Benjamin Percy

Series: Comet Cycle #1

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

More like a modern day western that what I expected.

What some people viewed as the end of the world, others viewed as a golden opportunity.  One night, a comet crashed into the small town of Northfall, Minnesota, forever changing the town and the people who lived within.  What initially caused power outages, vehicle accidents, and debris raining from the sky turned into a huge cash crop when people realized that the metal fragments from the comet had huge potential as an energy source, which turns Northfall into a “gold rush” town of the 21st century.  Now, two giant corporations are fighting for overall control of the metal: the local Frontier family and the Texas based oil man with deep pockets.  And in the center of it all, is a commune that sits atop the biggest metal reserve that will only sell to the person who can bring the dead back to life!

I went into this novel expecting a dystopian, speculative fiction type of read that was going to be more how we rebuild after we’ve been hit by a comet type of story.  However, it was more of a 21st century shoot from the hip western that made me think of some recent miniseries that have been airing in Montana and South Dakota.  Even so, it was quite an interesting depiction that was enjoyable to read through and see what happened.  I enjoyed the Frontier family drama that made me think of a ranching family up in Montana that controls the land against developers.  It also had a little bit of government conspiracy thrown in for good measure as well as dishonest cops who are on the take.  Overall, a little something for everybody.  There is a lot of foul language throughout the book as well as some implied sexual activity, but nothing is graphic, but it does leave some to the imagination.  I recommend this book for mature readers who enjoy this genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Future is Yours

Author: Dan Frey

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Release Date: February 9, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mind bending and terrifying at the same time!

When two friends create a quantum computer that can access data one year into the future, their own future seems limitless.    This device will be able to tell you anything from sports scores to stock market tips to if you will live for the next year!  With a start-up on the rise and knowledge of what will happen, what could go wrong?  Ambition, greed, and jealousy, that’s what! 

This was an interesting approach for a futuristic quantum novel.  It is told through a series of emails, text messages, future articles, and transcripts from a Senate Exchange Committee hearing.  There is never any actual personal dialogue, but you just keep reading because you want to know what is going to happen next.  It’s a little weird in that you can never really gauge a visual representation of any of the characters.  Maybe a little from their backgrounds, but no descriptions are given throughout the book.  You can easily develop emotions for the characters based on their behavior through their correspondence.  Most readers will just loathe Ben by the end of the book, but he does have ambition.  I’m not a huge fan of Leila either, but I get she was just trying to save face in a bad situation.  I felt sorry for Adhi, but got frustrated with him at the same time.  I really want to comment on the story arc and concepts that Frey used, but I feel like I would be giving something away and want readers to discover this on their own!

If you like futuristic novels of the like of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, this will likely fit right in your wheelhouse.  There is a lot of foul language throughout the book, so I would recommend it to mature readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.