SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1351 Immortality, by Kevin Bohacz Book Review |

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Immortality, by Kevin Bohacz
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: CPrompt
Published: 2007
Review Posted: 7/13/2009
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Immortality, by Kevin Bohacz

Book Review by SJ Higbee

Have you read this book?

Sarah Mayfield, a young rookie cop, is plagued by dreams and a sense that some horror is just around the corner. Nobel winning molecular biologist, Professor Mark Freedman is increasingly obsessed with the microbe that made his reputation. His hunch that fossilised mats of this organism may be linked to great extinction events of the past, is starting to look feasible in the light of his most recent discoveries made on a field trip. Reformed gang member, Artie, is now a solid citizen as his beloved wife Suzy is expecting their first baby. Dr Kathy Morrison works at CDC, the national facility where the entire world's known pathogens are stored and studied. These four people are ripped out of their everyday lives and find themselves struggling to make sense of it all when the unthinkable happens. And goes on happening...

This doomsday tale of changing times and humanity's attempts to adjust has an old-fashioned feel about it. The constant swinging between a very wide cast of characters -- all told in third person POV -- harks back to Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain in atmosphere and treatment. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, in order to make this particular storyline structure work, the author has to tread a very fine line between keeping up the pace, without confusing his reader with a dizzying procession of characters and events. Bohacz manages not to confuse, but at the expense of the narrative drive, particularly in the first section. I felt he could have shed many of the early episodes without losing much of the plot, while gaining pace and keeping the key characters to the fore.

But as the narrative picks up and the main characters clearly emerge from the incidental clutter, the science fiction aspects of the storyline gripped me sufficiently to keep me engrossed for the duration. Once he gets into his stride, Bohacz's depiction of the despair and chaos as civilisation crashes and the differing reactions of his characters are entirely plausible; as are the more extreme edges of his hypothesis accounting for the main extinction events that have dotted Earth's history. Bohacz's writing style isn't flashy. There are no shafts of sharp humour, or displays of wordplay. But his painstaking, detailed accounts of the changes afflicting his main four protagonists are riveting and horrifying in equal measure.

After a sticky start, this book manages to do what all the best sci-fi does -- provide a thought-provoking, alternative viewpoint on the business of existence. I recommend you give it a go.

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