Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: The Stark Divide
SERIES: The Liminal Sky – Book 1
AUTHOR: J. Scott Coatsworth
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 297 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2017
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.
From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.
Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.
Have you ever finished reading a book, gone on to do a bunch of projects during the day, and wanted to go back then to find out what happened next in that great story you read…only to remember you finished it already? Well, that’s what happened to me today. I just now was thinking that since I finished my ‘to do’ list, I had time to jump back into the story. But I can’t. It isn’t out yet!
As you’ve probably guessed by those rambling statements, I pretty much loved everything about this one. I liked the characters, I liked the locale, I liked the world building (well except for my part of Florida being 40 feet under water!) Mr. Coatsworth has created a very believable world, along with some believable tech, and then crafted a fast moving and interesting story tying it all together.
As a personal aside, you know how you, as the reader, develop a picture in your mind of what the characters in a story look like? Well…I’ve got to admit that when the captain of the living ship in this story was described, I instantly thought of Ben Browder on Farscape and then for a good section of the book, I was picturing this captain looking like Browder in his tight leather pants and no shirt. If you don’t get the Farscape reference, sorry, Google him. 😉
But I digress. Let’s get back to Mr. Coatsworth’s story. It is set in the not that distant future, and Earth is a mess. There are constant threats of war. There is an event that occurred not that far in the past that involved massive heat that killed off a huge portion of the world’s population. The remaining inhabitants of the Earth are facing escalating aggression from their fellow inhabitants, and the entire planet is faced with dwindling resources. These issues, and others, have led scientists to develop a class of living ships, each containing an artificial intelligence. The scientists are now working on massive living generation ships that will carry humans into the universe. But will they get away in time? And what will happen when the AIs on the ships turn out to be far more intelligent that previously thought?
I’ll admit that there was one spot in the story, fairly early on, that I got sooooo mad at Mr. Coatsworth, but he fixed it later, so I got over it. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which section I was talking about, but it just might involve one of the original crew of three…
Enough. No more spoilers. I really enjoyed the story, and can’t wait for the next installment. I hope it is soon! If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, I think the book will be for you. I highly recommend you give it a shot.