ocean of storms book coverReviewed by Marcus Hammond

If you think about what makes your favorite summer blockbuster movie so much fun you’ll probably realize that a sound, well-developed plot and unquestionable logic aren’t the dominating attributes. Fast-paced, eye-popping action that defies all common sense intended to distract from reality is probably the more likely description. This second description is exactly what we get in Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown. This political sci-fi thriller grabs you by the eye sockets from the first 30 pages, slaps you around until you’ve forgotten what science is, and leaves you wanting more.

The story revolves around a worldwide EMP blast that knocks planes out of the sky, causes massive destruction on roadways, and sends the world into a general panic. The source of the EMP ends up coming from the Moon and in turn inspires a classic 1950’s style space race between the United States and China. Once on the Moon, the story takes a weirder move into the science fiction realm, as time-travel becomes the key to understanding what’s going on. We are then taken back to Earth for a heavy dose of political conspiracy and an explanation for mankind’s evolution.

The plot is very large in scope and really misses the mark on the logic behind the details, but its fast pace and explosive delivery makes you completely forget your common sense. Throughout the story there are details like the world recovering from a global EMP blast within hours, and humans from the distant future screwing up their calculations (twice) to change the past that make the reader really scratch their heads. Even if the reader is well aware that even if a global EMP blast were possible, such an event would take decades to recover from, but Mari and Brown cover up any scientific inaccuracies with explosions and political tension.

Character development isn’t really a strong point in the story either. There’s a fairly large cast of both major and minor characters, and there’s not really one that shines more than the other. Character development isn’t really an important aspect when the cast is being blasted into space in a hastily built rocket to uncover the mysteries of space and end up faced with a fairly convoluted “superior” race trying to change the future through time-travel. The story might seem less like the downward slope of a roller coaster for 400+ pages and benefit from some actually depth if the backgrounds of a few of the major characters where better developed.

Ocean of Storms is like Armageddon, Independence Day, and The Core all wrapped up into a novel. The explosive action and political intrigue help make this novel a fast, enjoyable read, but don’t expect anything here to provoke any deep thought. Pop some popcorn, grab a beverage, and get ready to read your way into a ridiculous, improbable, and fun science fiction summer beach read.

Marcus spends his days writing and developing content for a local financial institution. When he’s not on an adventure with his wife and son, he reads, enjoys pop culture, and is constantly amazed at what is considered vintage.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by 47North. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.