I love sci-fi thrillers. I’ve read a majority of Michael Crichton’s novels. Even picked up some Robin Cook books in my younger years. My husband and I get a kick from watching disaster movies. I was excited to read a new to me author of sci-fi/disaster novels.
Resonance by A. J. Scudiere starts off with series of events that seem unrelated but of course they are. There are frogs with four hind legs and bees that are flying in columns. Soon, CDC Drs. Jillian and Jordan discover that people are suddenly dying due to magnetic “hotspots.” Biologist Dr. Becky and geologists Dr. David learn that the Earth’s magnetic pole are shifting, an event that occurs every 65 million years. Together the team of medical doctors and scientists attempt to track down the cause of the deaths before it’s too late.
(Ok, if you’re not a science fiction reader, that sound pretty far fetched. I know. Just remember that it’s fiction with little bits of truth in it. It’s the possibility of the events that makes it fun.)
The first half of the book drew me in. I couldn’t get enough as we followed different scientists and doctors travel all over the United States to chase down magnetic hotspots and prevent more people, even herds of animals, from dying. I thought that the dynamic between Drs. Jillian and Jordan was realistic. There was even a little bit of sexual tension between them, which became a more complex when Dr. David entered the scene. I was on the edge of my seat as their research became increasingly dangerous, even life threatening.
Then the book took a left turn to “What the hell?” for me.
SPOILER ALERT. In fact, there will be several.
About two-thirds of the way through the book, the magnet shift happened. Earth’s poles switched. At 484 pages, this was not a short book. With so many pages left, I wondered, where will the story go next? IS there a next after a magnetic shift? After all, the novel’s geologist intimated that the previous magnetic shift might have killed off the dinosaurs. The entire human population goes into a comatose state as poles reversed, including our esteemed researchers. Some people wake up and some never do. Dr. Jillian is one of the first to wake from her coma, but she also has a relapse. When she wakes up the second time, she is face to face with someone that she recently pronounced as dead.
As it turns out, when the poles swapped places, the Earth split into to two realms (what the book called it). Like parallel dimensions. Jillian and David are the only ones that can “move” between the two realms. The people that did not wake up or died in the first realm are actually alive and kicking in the second realm. (Still following?) Turns out the newer, second realm has no lawyers or CIA agents, but plenty of cops and preachers.
The last section of the book is barely scientific and starts to veer towards a little bit of evangelism. There’s lots of talk about God and prayer. I’m not against religion in my books but it just came out of nowhere and didn’t fit with the first part of the novel. In fact there was no mention of God until after the shift occurred.
I was so disappointed in the ending that I ranted about it for a full five minutes with my husband. After reading a few reviews on GoodReads and Amazon, I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one. It really had so much potential. I was even considering reading other books by A. J. Scudiere.
Have you ever felt this way about a book you’ve read?