The following is a guest post from my awesome husband, Jason Norbury.
Thanks to NetGalley.com for early access to this book.
What would happen if the descendants of the last survivors from Earth, looking for sanctuary, finally reach another civilized planet?
I like the idea of a good, rough satire of the powerful. Afflict the comfortable and all that. I was looking forward to settling down and getting pointed criticism of our modern culture, similar as the British culture is to our American culture. The criticism was there, and it was decidedly pointed.
It was also extremely heavy-handed in the beginning of the book. The first section of the book felt more like a screed against unrestrained capitalism than a satirical examination of our flaws as humans (and bankers). This was done surely to set the stage for the events that followed, but in the main made the first section of the book rather tiresome to get through.
The middle of the book, exploring the development of new culture on the bones of the old, was a good and, I would guess, a fair estimate of what would transpire if people of Earth, warts and all, were suddenly transported to a nearly Utopian world without need or want. But again, it fell short of the promised satire.
The twist to reach a conclusion in this book was clever, if a bit of a reach, and had probably more satirical potential that was realized. Overall, however, I just found the story rather flat, and it would have been difficult to recover from a very preachy and overdone beginning.