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It hits on the notion that mankind's activities have created conditions that begin to affect a delicate equilibrium of biotic and abiotic conditions that have fostered and sustained complex life forms and ecosystems. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. I am looking for a very similar paperback book I read about 30 years ago. Whales begin sinking ships. Dec 15, Fran rated it it was amazing Shelves:
I've always enjoyed stories where nature turns on humanity, or some horrific natural force starts wreaking havoc, so it seemed like a good fit. Schatzing for his amazing dedication to research. It's clear that he spent a lot of time and effort in trying to make this story premise feel grounded in reality, and it shows in his writing.
The scientific explanations are quite thorough, and anyone with an interest in chemistry, biology or various Earth sciences will likely find something to be impressed by.
Sigur Johansen and Leon Anawak, arguably the two primary protagonists of the story. They're nuanced and interesting.
Special mention goes to Jack Greywolf, whom I started out despising, but really enjoyed by the end of story. On a specific note, the destruction of various story-specific areas almost make you feel like you're there to witness them.
The build-up to the big reveal is laid out in such a way that you're always left wondering just what is going on, and wanting to know more. I've read a lot of sci-fi, but I've never seen anything quite like them.
Whether this is the result of a personal bias on the author's part, or just a lack of research into the non-scientific side of things, it results in some characters that are glaring caricatures. The Director is obsessed with America's stance as the "absolute power" in the world, and what starts as a confident if misguided woman's attempts to do right by her own ideals slowly turns into a Bond villain scheme that had me rolling my eyes so hard I'm pretty sure I saw my own brain.
The President is just as bad, being portrayed as ultra-religious to the point of ridiculousness. Frank Schatzing appears to have the belief that the entirety of the US government, including the military, exists as one branch with no oversight whatsoever.
The dedication put into deconstructing the US as some power-mad super villain is absurd. On the other side of the coin, every European character is nearly flawless and cares only for the world as a whole. This comical schism ultimately ruins a fair portion of the book, and was the biggest turn-off for me. Honestly, you could have cut away two hundred pages and had the same story unfold.
We're 'treated' to overly preachy stanzas about the environment, religion, national interests, and other such topics on a relatively frequent basis, especially in the latter third of the book. I felt myself starting to nod off a few times after getting through the eighth straight paragraph about the tiniest details behind amoeba DNA. I'm all for hard science, but even I reach the point where I'm sick of reading every little bit of minutiae.
There's also an abundance of back story on every single character. We don't need to know the complete history of everyone we meet! Just give me enough to go by, enough to know who the character is, and I'll be happy with that. Most glaringly of these segments is a chunk of the book where Leon Anawak travels back to his ancestral home. It genuinely feels like it's dragging, and it was a chore to finish the last several chapters where a relatively grounded story turns into a Hollywood blockbuster.
Ultimately, The Swarm is worth a read. It's a story that can glue you to your seat during one section, then make you wish you were doing something else in the next section.
While it does feel unfocused at times it's a solid story told well, with a lot of research behind the scenes. Not a bad investment.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. One of the best books I've read in years.
The science is great, the characters are really complex and interesting and the plot is riveting. Yes it does get a little preachy at times but this doesn't detract at all from what's going on - in fact it enhances it. So glad to hear that The Swarm is going to be made into a TV miniseries produced by one of the people who worked on Game of Thrones. Can't wait to see it!
Those of you who enjoyed this book should read Fred Hoyle's novel "The Black Cloud" as it offers a different perspective on a similar situation.
One person found this helpful. Sold overseas as a German anti-Utopian ecological horror story, this book makes fun reading for all who have the travel bug: The plot is far-fetched but again, the scientific details are admirable. Some commentators criticized the stereotyping of some protagonists but I have encountered each and every character depicted here in my personal real life and hence cannot complain.
I had high expectations for "The Swarm" but was unfortunately bitterly let down. This is the single worst edited book I have ever read. Filled with punctuation errors, almost every other line of dialogue is missing quotation marks or periods. There are typos all over the place and the translation to English is rather poor and uninspired.
Add to it that the Kindle formatting is below average with missing page breaks at chapter ends etc, this book is definitely not worth the price the publisher asks for. In terms of the novel itself, while intriguing in a sense of the overall story, the writing is rambling in many places, going on and on about irrelevant things, adding countless scenes that have no real purpose, and dialogues that go on way too long.
As a result of the lengthy writing you can easily go for hundreds of pages with nothing really happening. This book had great promise and offers a great story at its core. Unfortunately the execution and presentation are so poor that they make a book that is lengthy to read, practically insufferable. The Swarm is definitely an ambitious book.
Perhaps too much so. It is very long, which is not in itself a bad thing. But for long passages, I couldn't help feeling that it really could have done with some serious trimming.
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Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Other Books See all. How does this enormous system function, a system from which we originate but which we know less about than outer space?
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