Countdown to Extinction

Extinction Code by James D. Prescott is a science fiction story that centers on the idea that not only is there life on other worlds in the universe, but that their arrival on this one over sixty-five million years ago caused the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs.  Now an artifact these ancient aliens left behind may trigger another mass extinction, a prospect that draws a rather diverse group of scientists, military personnel, and agents of a sinister secret society into contact—and conflict.

Prescott penned a pretty solidly built plot, despite the twists and complications he introduced throughout the story.  He left some threads dangling that I assume will be addressed in future installments of the series.

The book’s world-building was interesting and well-constructed.  The various scenes and environments in the story were described in enough detail to help the reader construct a mental image without the info dumping that may slow or stall the story’s forward momentum.

The characters were likeable, but a bit too black and white—the goodies were good and the baddies were bad; there was very little nuance apparent in most of them.  Only one character in the entire cast kept me guessing as to which side he was actually on or what role in the plot he was supposed to be playing.  I am, in fact, still not sure.  Perhaps the next book in the series will clarify this.

My real complaint with the book, other than the goodie/baddie characterizations, would be the author’s writing style.  Prescott’s use of language comes across as stilted and awkward in places, and this, along with the use of phrases such as “that is to say” instead of just stating his thoughts concisely and directly, can be distracting and annoying.  His command of vocabulary was otherwise just fine and I didn’t see any glaring problems with grammar or punctuation.

In all, I enjoyed Extinction Code.  The premise was well designed and interesting, and the story kept me engaged as the plot unfolded.  I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Title                Extinction Code

Author           James D. Prescott

Copyright     2017

Format          Amazon Kindle


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