Final Days (Final Days 1) by Gary Gibson [Book Review]

Apocalyptic Action

Time travel and time paradoxes are not among my favorite science fiction subjects but I am very fond of Gary Gibson’s Shoal Sequence (You can read my reviews of Stealing Light, Nova War, and Empire of Light) so it was after some contemplation I decided to give this new series a chance.

The ominous title Final Days is fairly descriptive. Earth is going under. This is known since humanity has learned how to create wormholes that allows travel through space and time. When scouts visit Earth 10 years in the future they found it empty of life except one man left in stasis on the moon, Mitchell Stone. They bring him back.

The question whether or not it is possible to change history once it has been observed is central to the story but so is the mystery of what really happened.

There are a few point of view characters and in the beginning it threatened to overload me a bit, I had to go back and check who was who because of the constant switching but once I got that down I started to enjoy the story more and more. The buildup is about a third of the book before the action takes over. The reader is kept in the dark almost as much as the characters.

The world-building provides a nice support to the storyline. Earth has established a few colonies. All worm hole contact with the Galileo colony was lost ten years ago and now the new gate ship is only weeks out from re-establishing the connection. There is a secret government organization that somewhat covertly explores an alien network of worm holes discovered at Tau Ceti. The other nations dislike being kept out especially China. There is a lesson or two to learn from that.

The characters struggle with themselves and each other. People face doom in different ways and that comes across. I enjoyed learning to know the characters but I am hungry for more. Luckily there will be sequels. The next one Thousand Emperors will be out next year probably around the same time this one came out.

I enjoyed Final Days quite a lot, it is a well written apocalyptic story that really engage once you get past the buildup.

Book Information

Final Days (Final Days 1) by Gary Gibson (Tor 2011) – Amazon US | UK

It’s 2235 and through the advent of wormhole technology more than a dozen interstellar colonies have been linked to Earth.

But this new mode of transportation comes at a price and there are risks. Saul Dumont knows this better than anyone. He’s still trying to cope with the loss of the wormhole link to the Galileo system, which has stranded him on Earth far from his wife and child for the past several years.

Only weeks away from the link with Galileo finally being re-established, he stumbles across a conspiracy to suppress the discovery of a second, alien network of wormholes which lead billions of years in the future. A covert expedition is sent to what is named Site 17 to investigate, but when an accident occurs and one of the expedition, Mitchell Stone, disappears – they realise that they are dealing with something far beyond their understanding.

When a second expedition travels via the wormholes to Earth in the near future of 2245 they discover a devastated, lifeless solar system – all except for one man, Mitchell Stone, recovered from an experimental cryogenics facility in the ruins of a lunar city.

Stone may be the only surviving witness to the coming destruction of the Earth. But why is he the only survivor — and once he’s brought back to the present, is there any way he and Saul can prevent the destruction that’s coming?