A cold wind blows across the snow-covered desert, a chill that oozes through my parka like water soaking in, never drying. The frigid air bites at my exposed neck as I watch the sun peek above the horizon. The sky grows more clear each day as the particles from the asteroid ejections are removed. As the haze fades away, the sun shrinks, as if it’s a light slowly drifting away. That’s what living on Earth feels like, a desolate planet constantly growing darker and colder, with no hope of it ever stopping.
We thought the war was over.
We were wrong.
They decimated Earth during the Long Winter.
Now the grid has returned, and they won’t stop until the human race is extinct.
On a ruined world, humanity’s last survivors fight against impossible odds. In their darkest hour, they discover a new hope for survival. But it comes at an unthinkable price, with consequences that will change everything.
This story segment is from chapter 51 from “The Solar War (The Long Winter #2)” by A.G. Riddle.
I don’t read a lot of science fiction – not because I don’t like the genre I just prefer mystery/thriller, but once in a while I like to dip my toes in an alternate universe and try something different.
“The Solar War” is book two of the trilogy and so far … it’s interesting, but not earth shattering. The first book of the Trilogy starts with humanity struggling to survive on Earth because for some reason, the sun seems to be fading away. Less sun and warmth is making its way to Earth thereby causing a deep freeze and in a perpetual state of winter. NASA gets involved and sends some people out into space to find out what is going on and they soon discover some alien force seems to be harvesting the sun’s power and leaving Earth in the cold and dark.
I won’t give book one away, but suffice it to say, the humans severely piss the aliens off and they come back in book two for revenge by raining asteroids down on Earth and killing 99.9% of the population. The few remaining end up making a deal with an alien form – leave Earth or they wipe out the human race.
I’m about 56% way through the book and I’m not quite sure what to think about it yet. There is non-stop action and the story alternates between James and Emma’s points of view. James and Emma are married, they have one small daughter and Emma is pregnant with baby number two.
Riddle’s writing style is … different. Riddle is almost telling the story as opposed to showing the story to readers but it’s not overly obvious and it somehow … works. Riddle covers a lot of ground and yet he is somehow successful in drawing the reader into the story – almost as if the reader is a historian and writing about the series of events. It’s hard to describe the style and I can’t decide if I like it or not.
I’m not super invested in the main characters and in fact, I tend to like the minor characters more. They have more of a personality than James and Emma, in my opinion.
The relationship between James and the alien is almost stilted. Like they are both going through the motions and are not really invested in what their decisions. It’s like Riddle skims the surface of the story instead of taking the time to really dive under the surface. The story almost feels like reading a textbook, in some ways, if that makes sense. It’s informative, interesting, (most of the time), but dry. It’s like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without the jelly.
My rating: somewhat like it.