First off we have the setting. I liked the basic premise of the how the extinction would occur and the need to find somewhere else for humanity to live. The world state is also interesting with a plausible dystopian future. This created a grim backdrop to the story while also adding a ray of hope for the future and with a new colony things could be done better.
It also added a stronger political element to the story than I expected. The characters perform their functions reasonably enough, but there's a lot going on so you don't really get to know them that well. And that leads me to my first main issue with the book - there just isn't enough meat on the bones.
The skeleton is fine, there's a solid story and the writing is clean and brings the events and emotions across, but there's so much going on that nothing feels fully fleshed out. For a story like this I expected a bit more science in the mix, there's some there but it doesn't really dig into the challenges a mission like this would encounter.
Which leads to my second issue - there isn't enough peril going on. The political element adds some conflict, but considering the backdrop of the events and the difficulty of the mission it all feels a bit too easy. Apart from a few exceptions you never really feel that the individuals are in any real danger. And what should have been a momentous journey is skimmed through rather quickly.
I did enjoy reading the story overall, but it could have been so much more epic. Still I've bought the second so worth a read.
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When mankind faces extinction, can anyone survive?
In 2072, Earth faces the ultimate extinction event. In an America turned authoritarian, a desperate race against time begins. To send a starship to a distant planet, where the remains of humanity can survive.
However, while the government wants to recreate the society it has engineered, there are those who secretly conspire to let the starfarers choose their own destiny. As mankind on Earth faces its final blow, the selected few set course for Aurora, more than 40 light years away.
Follow Maria Solis, the billionaire daughter, Kenneth Taylor, Harvard professor of psychology, and Tina Hammer, a scramjet pilot and officer, through the selection and preparations for the adventure of a lifetime - and a final chance for a doomed civilization.