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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

REVIEW: Excessive Entanglement, by Nick d'Arbeloff

Excessive Entanglement 
President Virginia Belknap is one year into her second term when a NASA scientist discovers a new planet with an atmosphere similar to Earth. Embracing the event, Belknap turns a one-way mission to colonize this new world into her grand calling. It is the early 2030s—a time when Earth is struggling under the ill effects of climate change and a growing population, and the mission seizes the world’s imagination. But as the coolheaded and competent Belknap starts to assemble experts from different nations to plan all aspects of this illustrious enterprise, including the new planet’s constitution, religious conservatives—led by an earnest evangelical named Randall Reese—rise up in outrage and indignation. Reese and his followers see the plans put forth by Belknap’s Mission Council as the blueprint for a Godless world and the tragic loss of what could be a second Eden. 

As the political machinations of Reese and others put the launch at risk, a broader and darker conspiracy takes shape that threatens to obliterate the ship, its crew, and even the new planet itself. Belknap, her own life in danger, is forced to battle Reese, expose the conspiracy, and regain control of the mission before the launch window closes. But not before the forces at play spark a bonfire of deceit, murder, and domestic terrorism. While taking us on a wild, action-packed ride from Washington DC to Beijing to the L5 Spaceport, Excessive Entanglement holds a mirror to modern society, creatively exploring the political and constitutional issues presented by mankind’s first opportunity to create a more perfect world from the ground up.

The first novel from Nick d'Arbeloff (not a YA writer) is awesome. I expected some generalized awkwardness, especially being a self-published piece, but there isn't any. I don't know who edited for him, but the two did an amazing job on this novel.

It's a political thriller, a near-future science fiction story, a to-the-point look at religion in politics, and a mystery. How in the world does a first time author accomplish all 4? Beautifully...that's how.

There's no one main character, but several and someone to represent each facet of the story, and of the work to essentially create a society on another planet. I didn't "fall in love" with any one of them, as I'm prone to do in most books, but that worked for me in this one. I didn't want to  get too close to any one character (though I will admit to rooting for the romantic relationship that evolved).

This is not one of my "fluff" reads, that I rush through in a day for escape. You have to think, and be prepared that (even though it's fiction), it will make you think--just what would we do if we could essentially start over on creating a human society?

While this book isn't a YA book, or even marketed to YAs in any specific way, it's one that your intense readers will enjoy. Those who aren't hardcore sci-fi fans will appreciate that no aliens make an appearance, but there's just enough science to capture your general science fiction crowd.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Smith Publicity through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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