There is a lot going on in Stormhaven Rising by Eric Michael Craig.
An asteroid has been spotted coming to earth, one with the potential to wipe out humanity, and various countries and factions must frame a response. The scope of the story is impressive, as the action unfolds around and above the world. Can we work together to save our species, or will politics and nationalism hang us?
Running through these events, we have the Stormhaven corporation, run by an eccentric billionaire genius from his hidden mountain base full of super advanced technology. And somehow, he’s not a Bond Villain.
There’s plenty of science in this science fiction. I was particularly impressed with the scenes set on the International Space Station and several lunar stations, which feel real and believable throughout.
The cast is huge. Reactions to the asteroid feel real, for the most part: different factions work at cross-purposes, fail to communicate and are determined that theirs is the only correct way to deal with the threat. The politics spawned from this situation are one of the novel’s stronger elements.
Most importantly, Stormhaven Rising is engaging, interesting and readable throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Still, it’s not, quite, perfect. The big cast means we switch point of view several times in each chapter. While this helps with the pacing, the action never bogs down, it can be hard to keep track of everyone. By the end, there are only two or three characters that I feel I really connected with, and that’s a shame. My only other complaint is about Stormhaven itself. Craig attempts to paint them as plucky underdogs constantly under threat, but their technology is so far ahead, at times it can be hard to believe there is a threat that could challenge them. (Not helped by the title, Stormhaven is rising, after all).
Oh, and one character has a name that would not be out of place in a Carry On movie, and It’s really distracting.
Still despite these quibbles, there’s a lot to recommend this book, and I will definitely be heading on to book two. 4 stars!