Author: David Fleming
Published: 26 July 2017
Personal Context: NetGalley provided me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Initial Thoughts: Based on the cover and the synopsis, I thought this might be up my alley. Clandestine organizations, saving the world, sci-fiction-level advanced technology, what’s not to love?
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jack is a ferociously independent man with a mind that comes along once in a generation, but even geniuses make mistakes. The City, a secret organization with a mission to secure peace for mankind, works toward a solution to save the world from a century of bad decisions.
A few countries have discovered that the Age of Oil is coming to an end and are playing a deadly game of deception to ensure they possess the final reserves. The United States, no longer the prime superpower, is targeted by a destructive force to end its remaining might.
While the world plays its lethal schemes, one child, rescued by the City, refuses to be just a pawn after he is included in the game. Just like the mythical Prometheus, he has the power to save humanity… or burn it into extinction.
My Review of…
…The Plot and Pace:
…one corrosive philosophy now dominates every political authority in the world: If I can’t have it, then no one can.
With realistic world-ending disasters on the horizon, this story definitely carries all of the weight and gravitas that this style of book demands. Fleming created a fast-paced story that is filled with all of the density of a save-the-world-or-die-trying novel and enough humorous and sentimental characters to make it relatable and realistic. The relationships between characters drove the story forward with ease and ensures that the reader maintains engagement. At under 500 pages, the story is not difficult to finish, and moves fast enough that you’ll never be bored.
…The Characters and Relationships:
I found that the characters in this story were my favorite part. Each character was stunningly unique, and their personalities were both well-defined and relatable. I found myself frequently forgetting that Mykl was only five years old. Fleming did a beautiful job at crafting a child-genius that is both as sophisticated as an adult (with an intellect that rivals everyone), while still maintaining the innocence of a young child.
…The Writing Style and Mechanics:
Fleming did such an excellent job at crafting individual voices for his characters that I never had any trouble in identifying the speaker at any given time. This allowed him to forgo using attributions during some of his dialogue which helped me stay fully immersed in the story.
…The Message(s) and Theme(s):
“Those who peddle power for a living tend to have trouble keeping secrets. They use them as barter to advance their positions…”
This section resonated super hard with me, and brought up a lot thoughts about the current global climate.
…terrorist attacks around the world had become as common as pigeon shit on a park bench. And the media reveled in it. They stoked public fear and fed on increased ratings like parasites.
Ugh chills, every time I read that passage. Again, super-reminiscent of the current global climate, and I think this is an appropriate description of how the media is behaving.
‘You’ve lived more than half of your life in darkness and still managed to retain a vibrant spirit. Strength of will like that is extremely rare. You can help us find our way through the coming storm by maintaining that never-surrender attitude. You can earn your keep–of that I have no doubt.’
Dawn was probably my favorite character in this story. Her light was like a cool drink of water on a hot day, and Jack’s assessment of her is spot on.
Listen, the plot of The Prometheus Effect will not be what you remember from this book, the characters will be. I always find that long after I’ve read a book, after the main plot points fade from my memory, certain ideas and themes are what I retain. The bits of the story I shared above are only a taste of what this book has to offer, if only you have the patience to seek it.