Project Firebird

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Project Firebird

Last Free Dates: 8th Oct 14 to 12th Oct 14
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...Fans of sci-fi, post-apocalyptic scenarios and young adult readers may enjoy this....

When Earth is on a collision course with a meteor, the best and brightest of their young people are put into Project Firebird, a secret underground bunker to keep them safe until the meteor passes. Somehow, Leo a car thief from Salford whose been excluded from school gets tangled up with the project – and has to make sure that among all the prodigies no one finds out, or he’s done for.

This has a lot of five stars and praise, and I went into it with high hopes. It’s not bad – the characters have distinct personalities, the language is easy to read and the plot is well developed.

The section with the youths in the sealed off base is a good read, and as the situation degrades with too little food and limited water, the tension is palpable. The writing is good, the story well-told and the plot holds together well. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did, and the reason will involve carefully skirting around spoilers.

The ending is unfortunately where the book fails. The main twist is not unexpected, and readers familiar with sci-fi tropes will have spotted it coming early on, but when they finally confront the antagonists, the story that emerges…well, it’s been done before, a lot e.g. Dr Who’s Invasion of the Dinosaurs, but it isn’t managed badly here.

The problem is we are supposed to believe the antagonists are right, when their actions could easily have caused needless deaths, the behavioural science behind their reasoning is questionable, and most importantly they have lied solidly through the entire book and then suddenly the characters believe them? The sheer ethical failure and the fact this was shown as a good thing was, for me, when the book hit the wall. There is a solid lesson in this book, but probably not the one the author intended: It is that the problem with fanatics is not them being willing to die for their beliefs, it is that they want others to do it as well.

There are more books in this series. I won’t be picking them up.

For 9/10ths of the book it is good, but the remaining tenth was a disappointment. Fans of sci-fi, post-apocalyptic scenarios and young adult readers may enjoy this.

Rating: 2.5
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Tregaron (6 March 2017)
I disagree with your review in one part, although I agree the organisation is irredeemably unethical. I think they knew exactly what they were doing when the pulled the "climate change" line. People don't like to think they have wasted their time or suffered for nothing. So what better way to indoctrinate children who don't know this fact and aren't resistant to it than to put them through hell then give them an enemy to blame and point them at it?

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