My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
After a reading Fledgling by Octavia Butler, I was in a reading ‘funk’. I tried several samples from Amazon, but could not find 1 book that caught my interest. I was wondering if I would have to stray from my current favorite sci fi/fantasy genre, when I ran across The Wandering Earth (which was free!). It drew me in, and hopefully has ended my reading funk. Here’s what I thought…
The sun is about to become a red giant. Unable to successfully build space ships to get everyone off Earth and to another planet (this logic is explained in the book), the scientist have decided to make the entire planet their rocket. They have built thousands of Earth Engines that propel the Earth out of it’s orbit and begins a 2,500 year journey to Alpha Centari, to resettle the planet there. This book covers the end of the Sun as we know it and the beginning of the journey to another solar system.
I’m not an astro physicist, so some of the science was iffy for me, and some of the imagery was hard to imagine, but the plot was so unique that it was enjoyable.
Plot Score: 4/5
Location, Location, Location
The location is everything in this book. A wandering Earth. What a concept. They actually built rockets to get Earth out of its solar system and move it to another sun. Living underground, for the most part, there are certain times when it’s safe to come above ground, and they even have flights and other technology. Some parts of the planet are in perpetual light, some are in perpetual dark. The journey that the Earth takes as it transforms from a planet to a rocket is amazing to imagine.
Location Score: 5/5
Characters and Relationships
Main Character- I just finished reading this book and I can’t recall ever getting a name for the character. I can’t find it referenced in any other review for the book either. Maybe he’s not named because he is an ‘every man’. The story is not really about an individuals journey, but the journey of the Earth.
Characters Score: 3/5
Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)
The one part that really stood out to me, is where humanity is waiting for the suns final explosion and transformation to a red dwarf, but it doesn’t happen when estimated. The people revolt believing that science has fooled them into moving the planet from their happy home. And just when the revolters have won the war and taken the government and executed them, the sun transforms. Even in this amazing circumstance, we are still human, rash and violent and impatient.
Bigger Meaning Score: 3/5
Opening Line: “I’ve never seen the night nor seen a star; I’ve seen neither spring, nor fall, nor winter. I was born at the end of the Reining Age, just as the Earth’s rotation was coming to a final halt.”
This is one of the best openers I’ve read. I know this was not originally written in English, but this line was translated beautifully. The book is pretty short (I don’t have page numbers on my Kindle for this one, so I can’t tell how long), so it moves along.
Style Score: 3/5
-When reading the summary the concept distracted me, as it seems completely far fetched. But if you let yourself go in the book, it actually feels quite possible…
-I’d love to know what Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks about the science in this book.