Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

June 8th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 61 Comments

8th Jun
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Seveneves
by Neal Stephenson
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson spans five thousand years from a catastrophic event that will doom Earth to man’s determination to save the human race. At eight hundred and eighty pages, this massive tome is filled with details that will excite your inner geek and for the most part keep you riveted.

Caffeinated Aspects:

  • Seveneves had a realistic vibe that makes you stand up and take notice. Instead of aliens attacking or a meteor bumping Earth out of orbit, Stephenson created a scenario that felt realistic. Fans of the Martian will enjoy Seveneves although be warned there is a lot of technical jargon. From the characters to the technology Stephenson offered up a suspenseful tale.
  • Get your geek on. I loved all the technical jargon from how they built things to handling resources. It was truly fascinating and I found myself completely caught up. It delves into so many aspects from mining asteroids using tiny robots and housing folks as they build. Then there is the whole process of determining who will be placed on board the ship to ensure humanities survival. The story the governments tell folks sent me chills it was so realistic.
  • The story is broken up into three parts. The first shares the catalyst and humanities plan to preserve the species. The second part focuses on Earth’s final days and the final section unfolds five thousand years later as the survivors of humankind return to Earth. The action scenes were suspenseful and beautifully described giving me a panoramic view as events unfolded.
  • The characters are fascinating and Stephenson does a good job of helping us imagine how each would react to the events as they unfold. From happens on Earth to the tensions in Space, he shares all facets of what these events may be like. Despite knowing most of the characters we meet will not be around for the return, Stephenson managed to make my heart clutch when danger arose or we lost a character.
  • Suspense and the unknown created some edge of your seat moments and I felt myself holding my breath right along with the characters.
  • The meaning behind the title Seveneves is revealed and to me it was a brilliant and poetic. I always love discovering the significance behind these obscure titles.
  • Stephenson gives us a lot to ponder as we consider how humanity would respond as mankind builds an ark.

Decaffeinated Aspects:

  • As much as I loved all of the details and scientific jargon parts of the tale, where dry. I would find myself caught up in the story and then we would be thrust into pages of jargon and it disrupted my ability to remain within the story.
  • I was disappointed that the segments weren’t balanced and that we spent the least amount of time learning about the return. The last two hundred plus pages was intense and some of the strongest writing.
  • Seveneves is massive, and generally, I do not have a problem with that. It is also a standalone, but in this instance, I really would have preferred this to be a trilogy with the three segments being balanced. Who knew I would encourage a trilogy?

Fans of fantasy, space and realistic dystopians will enjoy Seveneves. Despite my issues, I really enjoyed my journey with this novel.

About Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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61 Responses to “Seveneves by Neal Stephenson”

  1. Lindy

    I like that there is a deeper meaning behind the title of the book. This story sounds fascinating, suspenseful and thought provoking. I can see how too much jargon can interrupt the flow of the story though, and I think a trilogy is a better option for a book that was too long and needs to be better balanced. Great Review Kim! I’m glad that you enjoyed this story overall.
    Lindy recently posted…Book Review: A Pound of Flesh (A Pound of Flesh #1) by Sophie JacksonMy Profile

  2. Erin

    I love Neal Stephenson and can’t wait to read this. Every once in a while you need a nice big doorstopper of a book, and it sounds like this one is worth it. Great review! I’m really in suspense about the title now.
    Erin recently posted…Review: The Bees by Laline PaullMy Profile

  3. Lily

    I think it was Christy who first brought Seveneves to my attention. I love the sound of this one but the sheer length of it does intimidate me. That being said, this one sounds unbelievably amazing. I shall read it soon!
    Lily recently posted…Every Last Word: ReviewMy Profile

  4. Donna C

    I picked this one up at BEA and wasn’t sure if I would like it since I’m not a big sci-fi lover. Having said that, after reading your review, coupled with the fact that I loved The Martian, I’m kind of excited to read it now!
    Donna C recently posted…Review: The Balance ProjectMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is one to be read for sure. I can’t even imagine how long the audio would be. I took a week to read it and loved all the details. It just doesn’t flow like the Martian did and requires reading in bits

  5. Ichabod Temperance

    Hi Kimba!
    Yay! A Neal Stephenson fan!
    I agree with Erin’s comment above. Every now and then, I want a big, fat, challenging book. Neal is my go to guy.
    I am bat-guano crazy over most of his stuff, but ‘Reamde’, his last novel, in my opinion, did not quite measure up to his previous books. Your review makes it sound as if he is back on point with ‘Seveneves’.
    I really appreciate the review1
    Cheers!
    ~Icky.

      • Ichabod Temperance

        Thank you Kimba, I felt bad about making the least despairing remark about Neal. The truth is, I really want to gush about Neal Stephenson! His first novel, ‘Zodiac’ is good, but he takes off into cyberpunk stardom in ‘Snow Crash’! When I read the main characters name, I fell off the couch. Spoiler! {‘Hiro Protagonist’.} I loved ‘Cryptonomicon’ and ‘Anathem’, but his trilogy, ‘The Baroque Cycle’, I have read twice and will read again!
        Happy Reading!
        Your pal,
        ~Icky.

  6. Ramona

    Sounds exciting, though I am a little scared by the technical jargon. My inner geek is a frail creature, lol 🙂 But I love your review, and I am curious. I’ll have to see if I can fit it in – the sheer length of it is something to consider as well!
    Ramona recently posted…Zen Monday: 5 Ways To Improve Your HealthMy Profile

  7. Debbie Haupt

    Wow Kim, what a Giant read, yikes. I am a total snoozer when it comes to über-technical jargon and find myself dozing off at times and flipping pages at others. From your description a trilogy would be an easier pill for a reader like me to swallow, but you know sci-fi freaks love huge volumes too.
    Debbie Haupt recently posted…Happy 5th Anniversary Carina PressMy Profile

  8. Lorna

    I occasionally like a good science fiction book but just thinking about the time it would take me to read a book that long is work. I used to read long books, just can no longer do it. I do think parts of it sounds fascinating, but I think the scientific jargon might lose me, but I am glad you enjoyed this 🙂
    Lorna recently posted…Review: Brand of the Pack by Tera ShanleyMy Profile

  9. Karen Blue

    I still want to read this book. I get what you are saying about encouraging a trilogy. I have felt that way about books before. I love Sci-Fi so I hope to get this book soon. Thanks for the great review!
    Karen Blue recently posted…Read This Round Up #40My Profile