The Human Race by O.C. Heaton


SuspenseScience FictionThe Human Race by O.C. Heaton

Ethan Rae is a billionaire due to his business dealings in communication, wireless phones, and the Internet. He is a risk taker. He also is a philanthropist in his London home. When Uma Jakobsdottir invites him to join her for dinner while he is in Reykjavik, he accepts. He follows her to her lab. He didn’t expect more than to be shown her geothermal work that powers Iceland. Instead, a year later, he and she are in the final stages of releasing a new transportation system to the world.

Samuel Reynolds III is the grandson of the founder of Reynolds Air and next in line to be CEO of Reynolds Air. Currently his father holds that position. Once Reynolds Air had been the most profitable company in the United States. Now, after 9/11, the airline giant is on the verge of bankruptcy. But he has a plan. He knows about the new transportation system. He wants it for his family. That discovery would put Reynolds Air back on top again.

Rae and Jakobsdottir had thought their work was secret and hidden. When people start dying and her lab is attacked, they realize their secret has been revealed. Now they are caught in a desperate game of corporate espionage and thievery. They’ll be lucky if they live through the next few days.

The Human Race is a well-thought out science fiction suspense that immediately appealed to me. I can’t say too much without giving away critical plot points. The technology is explained in scientific (pseudoscientific?) terms to make it believable – and attainable.

Iceland is the major backdrop of the book, although it jumps to other areas of the world as well. Although I’ve read Arnaldur Indridason‘s mysteries in Iceland, The Human Race better portrayed the geography and geology of the country outside of Reykjavik.

O.C. Heaton’s novel is billed as the first of a “thrillogy” (cute). The Human Race ends with many balls in the air and more to come. I’m afraid three novels may be too many. While I liked the book, I found it dragging at times. At other times I found the suspense keeping me on the edge of my seat.

One of my biggest complaints is the way the book jumps back and forth from the present to a year earlier to one character then another. The reader needs a scorecard to keep track of what is happening. By the end of the book the reader understands why there is all the jumping around. While it takes place in the present, the past is needed to set up the present. If done chronologically, there are plot points that would be revealed too early to give the suspense needed. I personally would have preferred the present, then a complete retelling of the year earlier when they started, then a return to the present. It would have helped with the confusion.

Overall I can recommend this book to the reader who likes the “what if” twist to their near future suspense. But it might be better to wait until more is published. The ending hangs too much and leaves the reader resentful.

Notice:Ā  Graphic violence, Strong sexual content

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Provided by author for review


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