Friday, June 21, 2024

Karen S. Wiesner {Put This One on Your TBR List} Book Review: The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson

{Put This One on Your TBR List}

Book Review: The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson

by Karen S. Wiesner

As soon as I finished reading (and reviewing in last week's Friday post) The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, published in 1969, I moved directly into reading the sequel, The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson, published in 2019. In fact, the story within the sequel is set 50 years after the previous events. This publication also marks the 50th anniversary of the original release.

In the time following The Andromeda Strain, in which an extraterrestrial microbe nearly caused the catastrophic end of the world, Project Eternal Vigilance has waited and watched to ensure the mutating microbe doesn't reappear. With the project on the verge of being shut down for lack of activity, abruptly a Brazilian terrain-mapping drone detects the signature of the lethal microparticle. A team is assembled and sent to investigate, ultimately tasked with attempting to prevent another potential annihilation of all humankind from the latest Andromeda Evolution.

As the previous story did, this one is presented as a classified government report. While there are many characters, it's hard to really define any of them as the main character. The closest is James Stone, son of one of the team members who saved the world in the original book. In this way, the story is heavily plot focused. However, that doesn't mean readers weren't drawn into the lives and situations of the many players involved in this highly suspenseful, race to save the world tale. In particular, I was moved by the relationship between the native Amazonian boy Tupa and James Stone. Early on while reading this book, I wanted to see a character or two from the original cross into this story, and I was pleased to have my hope rewarded. Additionally, the author mirrored Crichton's ability to create such realism, I could easily believe this story was based on actual events.

One of the most interesting parts about reading these two books back to back was seeing the advances made in technology and space travel in the 50 years between them. In fact, the author has stated his intention while writing was to acknowledge "the travel and advances made in space exploration since the 1970s".

I read the last third of The Andromeda Evolution over the course of little more than two hours. I couldn't put it down until I discovered what would happen with the evolved microparticle spurred on by a deranged, short-sighted villain, as well as to the self-sacrificing people working to prevent it from spreading and destroying the Earth as we know it.

A movie adaption doesn't seem to be in the works, despite that the original was made into a miniseries in 2008 and the plot in The Andromeda Evolution could easily comprise a thrilling second season of it. The ending of the book made me long for yet another sequel to see where it would all go, since it concluded on a bit of an unresolved angle. Though there's no indication that it might ever happen, if a follow-up does make an appearance, I certainly hope it doesn't take another 50 years.

Karen Wiesner is an award-winning, multi-genre author of over 150 titles and 16 series.

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