Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Posted May 10, 2015 | 23 Comments

Seveneves by Neal StephensonSeveneves
Author: Neal Stephenson
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Format: eARC
Pages: 880
Source: Publisher

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable.

Dork alert: My initial draw to Seveneves was because of the title. I have a weird attraction to palindromes, so I immediately zeroed in on it. Go ahead and roll your eyes. Then I knew for sure this book was for me after reading the description. It was slow going at points, but I ultimately loved it and found myself totally engrossed with the story.

A catastrophic event occurs that means the demise of human existence, but a small population escapes and returns 5000 years later. I’ve actually thought about things like this. What if something like this were to happen and all of our history was lost. The people thousands or even millions of years from now never really knowing about us. Or … what if something similar has already happened and we’re just unaware. It’s kind of creepy to think about, but I enjoy playing the ‘what if’ game with it. So I was eager to see what Neal Stephenson constructed from the idea.

Seveneves is a long book, but it certainly does take us on one amazing ride. I was surprised at how much of the book was devoted to the before, during the end of the world and the fight to save the human race. It does get very technical and dry at times, to where it felt as if I were reading an academic paper. However, I found it completely fascinating. I think it gave it a realistic feel, as if everything that we read is a possibility that could be put in motion right now. There were also plenty of heart-pounding moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

Obviously everyone we meet in the beginning eventually dies, and then we wind up thousands of years in the future. It was really sad and humbling at times, especially when it came to certain characters and their sacrifices. I absolutely love the mix of these strong, intelligent characters and grew very attached to them.

The last part of the book is what I was most excited for – to see what became of Earth and humanity. I found it to be really interesting and creative, but there’s still that realistic feel to it. As if that could be a possible future. And I have to say that discovering the meaning behind the title gave me a huge smile. Very clever, Mr. Stephenson.

Overall, Seveneves is quite an epic journey. ← That statement is actually kind of funny if you’ve read the book. At least a lame attempt at being funny. Anyway, it’s true. The author did a fantastic job and I look forward to reading more of his work.


23 responses to “Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

  1. I love this idea somehow! It reminds of this manga short story called HOTEL (you should read it, it’s so heart-breaking and fascinating at the same time. I actually don’t mind if it’s long as long as it sets the setting right. There are times a slow-paced book just works, you know what I mean? Adding this right now to my TBR. Just realized I have to wait till the 19th for it and I’m kind of agonized to know because I WAS SO READY TO READ IT AT THIS INSTANT 🙁

    • Christy

      I hope you read it! It felt so good to read this after struggling through all the YA books I’ve been dealing with. My brain thanked me too. lol. I’ll have to look up Hotel.

  2. It is definitely creepy to think about that something like this could have already happened and we are those that don’t know! Gah! Keep me up at night thinking about it. I bet you I think about this all day today now, way to go. 😛

    This sounds really good. Not something I would normally pick up but something I’m super curious about now.

  3. Well now I really want to know the meaning behind the title Christy! And I love playing what if games with dystopian or post-apocalyptic stories, they always get me thinking and questioning. And I didn’t even realize the title was a palindrome until you pointed it out. Observant, party of one 😉

  4. You’re not the only one to wonder these types of things Christy. I always find myself thinking about different ‘what if’ scenarios. I feel like there are so many things could have happened or could potentially happen and I find it fascinating to think up morbid situations like the one this book deals with. Lovely review!

    Lily recently posted: Fuel the Fire: Review
  5. The premise reminds me a little of what The 100 book series should have been. I love the mixture of science fiction and apocalyptic. That’s an insanely long book, so not surprised that there’s a few lulled moments in terms of action. But my hubby would absolutely LOVE this, without a doubt. Doing to grab him a copy ans then steal it once he’s finished. Wonderful review, simply loved it! <3

    Kelly recently posted: So... Plagiarism
  6. This is all I needed! I was on the fence about this one (it came out yesterday on audio) but I ultimately decided to go with Uprooted and of course Eighth Grave (which I already finished…Love her books!)
    Now I’m going back for this one, 31 hours long!…eeek!
    Thank you Christy!

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