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As the Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish at an alarming rate, the Global Space Agency is formed with a single mandate: protect humanity from extinction by colonizing the solar system as quickly as possible. Venus, being almost the same mass as Earth, is chosen over Mars as humanity’s first permanent steppingstone into the universe. Arik Ockley is part As the Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish at an alarming rate, the Global Space Agency is formed with a single mandate: protect humanity from extinction by colonizing the solar system as quickly as possible. Venus, being almost the same mass as Earth, is chosen over Mars as humanity’s first permanent steppingstone into the universe. Arik Ockley is part of the first generation to be born and raised off-Earth. After a puzzling accident, Arik wakes up to find that his wife is almost three months pregnant. Since the colony’s environmental systems cannot safely support any increases in population, Arik immediately resumes his work on AP, or artificial photosynthesis, in order to save the life of his unborn child. Arik’s new and frantic research uncovers startling truths about the planet, and about the distorted reality the founders of the colony have constructed for Arik’s entire generation. Everything Arik has ever known is called into question, and he must figure out the right path for himself, his wife, and his unborn daughter.


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As the Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish at an alarming rate, the Global Space Agency is formed with a single mandate: protect humanity from extinction by colonizing the solar system as quickly as possible. Venus, being almost the same mass as Earth, is chosen over Mars as humanity’s first permanent steppingstone into the universe. Arik Ockley is part As the Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish at an alarming rate, the Global Space Agency is formed with a single mandate: protect humanity from extinction by colonizing the solar system as quickly as possible. Venus, being almost the same mass as Earth, is chosen over Mars as humanity’s first permanent steppingstone into the universe. Arik Ockley is part of the first generation to be born and raised off-Earth. After a puzzling accident, Arik wakes up to find that his wife is almost three months pregnant. Since the colony’s environmental systems cannot safely support any increases in population, Arik immediately resumes his work on AP, or artificial photosynthesis, in order to save the life of his unborn child. Arik’s new and frantic research uncovers startling truths about the planet, and about the distorted reality the founders of the colony have constructed for Arik’s entire generation. Everything Arik has ever known is called into question, and he must figure out the right path for himself, his wife, and his unborn daughter.

30 review for Containment

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    The Venusian. Comparisons to Andy Weir’s 2011 novel The Martian are not going to be instantly made; Containment, Christian Cantrell’s 2010 book lacks the personality and humor of Weir’s novel but is intelligently written and entertaining. Coming across as a hard SF Heinlein / Neal Stephenson / Hugh Howey type modern speculative fiction thriller, Cantrell brings a lot to the table. Existentialism versus chaos theory amidst a far future setting. Initially this is about Earth’s first colony on Venus The Venusian. Comparisons to Andy Weir’s 2011 novel The Martian are not going to be instantly made; Containment, Christian Cantrell’s 2010 book lacks the personality and humor of Weir’s novel but is intelligently written and entertaining. Coming across as a hard SF Heinlein / Neal Stephenson / Hugh Howey type modern speculative fiction thriller, Cantrell brings a lot to the table. Existentialism versus chaos theory amidst a far future setting. Initially this is about Earth’s first colony on Venus and Cantrell’s scientific descriptions are spot on. Cantrell then adds in environmental concerns, Malthusian economics, global warming, human nature, and artificial photosynthesis. The term containment is also used with multiple meanings and Cantrell's narrative makes artful use of dramatic irony for good effect. He is almost too ambitious, but ties it all together well. Interestingly, this is also the first book I have ever read where the sport of choice is cricket. Good SF. ** 2019 addendum - it is a testament to good literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maurice X Alvarez

    Containment is not for all sci-fi fans. If you enjoy paragraphs of technical details on the workings of possible future technology and chapters devoted to ancillary background narrative, then this book is for you. I might have been persuaded to look past all that, after all it was very successfully handled by Stephen R. Donaldson in his Gap series. But all this exposition often comes at the expense of story flow. Even at the end, when the protagonist's great plan is about to be sprung, the story Containment is not for all sci-fi fans. If you enjoy paragraphs of technical details on the workings of possible future technology and chapters devoted to ancillary background narrative, then this book is for you. I might have been persuaded to look past all that, after all it was very successfully handled by Stephen R. Donaldson in his Gap series. But all this exposition often comes at the expense of story flow. Even at the end, when the protagonist's great plan is about to be sprung, the story breaks into a multi-paragraph technical explanation of how the colony's transportation system works, for no reason. It's great that the author had all this in mind as he wrote it; an author should have an in-depth familiarity with his setting. But a reader does not require all this detail unless it applies to the plot and if it is inserted seamlessly. To make matters worse, the over-exposition interspersed with very confusing shifts back and forth in time throughout the first half of the book. I often found it difficult to tell if I was reading about Arik in the present or if it was his past until some detail 2-3 pages into the chapter clarified the setting. A more chronological approach in flashback would have worked well and not changed the effect of the story at all. It isn't until 3/4 of the way through the book that the past catches up with the present and the plot twist is revealed. And it's a great plot twist, if somewhat implausible. While it might be difficult to believe that these young scientists are unaware of the true nature of their environment, one can imagine a situation in which external input is so carefully controlled that they remain sheltered from the truth until they get into the truly hardcore experiments. So this implausibility can be overlooked. More difficult to overlook is the lack of connection with the characters. Despite an account of their youth through several flashback chapters, there was little to make me like/dislike Cam, Zaire, Cadie or any of the Gen 5 kids. Only Arik's struggle to recover from brain surgery elicited any sympathy from me. Everyone including Arik is written in such a way as to seem almost emotionally destitute; even Arik's reactions to life-threatening situations are handled with cold logic. V1 might just as well have been a colony of Vulcans straight out of Star Trek. The ending is abrupt, which I had expected and did not mind at all. Containment is a decent story wrapped up in a package that doesn't allow it to reach its potential.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gary Nilsen

    I finished reading Containment and decided to let it sit for awhile before I wrote my thoughts in the form of a review. For the most part I enjoyed working my way through the novel, eager to understand how the world evolves in the future in such a way that we successfully colonize Venus. Christian Cantrell is obviously a very bright guy and I was drawn into his explanations of how the colony was engineered - in fact, most of his scientific exposition throughout the book was impressive in my opin I finished reading Containment and decided to let it sit for awhile before I wrote my thoughts in the form of a review. For the most part I enjoyed working my way through the novel, eager to understand how the world evolves in the future in such a way that we successfully colonize Venus. Christian Cantrell is obviously a very bright guy and I was drawn into his explanations of how the colony was engineered - in fact, most of his scientific exposition throughout the book was impressive in my opinion; even his Herman Wouk-like digressions on the history of the world leading up to the point in time of the story was engaging. I started to encounter some issues when he would begin a new chapter from a different point in Arik's timeline without warning - you have to recalibrate your head to catch up to where he is. Secondly, he leaves a lot of development off-camera which leaves you assuming too much rather than foreshadowing and then delivering on the promise of what he was alluding to in the first place. Then there was the ending. It was quite abrupt and I had to think about it for awhile before I came to a hazy conclusion of what I think happened - but you're not really quite sure. The story has some good twists and I think he had the foundation for driving home a strong finish, but it's almost as if he was tired of telling the tale and decided to end it. I was one of those who felt anger at the way The Soprano's ended - however they wanted to finish to storyline would have been fine with me - but tell me what it was! I felt this way with Containment - I wanted the picture to be drawn for me a little more artfully. Overall I was satisfied, but not satiated. I wanted more than he gave me. I think he underpriced the book on Kindle, but I would have been a bit peevish had I spent the full price for a print version. There were several typo's and missing words in the manuscript which made me wonder who his copy-editor was. I would recommend the book on Kindle as a way of coming to know someone who promises to be a good story teller once he hones his craft some more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ixris

    I want to like this book. I really do. There were some annoyances with it, some frustrations, but on the whole it tried to redeem itself by the end. The truth of the matter is, though, the actual conflict doesn't become apparent until 3/4 through the book. There's no direct conflict between the characters, and there's really very little drama. What drama there is, it seems to be swept under the carpet for convenience's sake. Containment follows around Arik Ockley, a brilliant computer scientist wh I want to like this book. I really do. There were some annoyances with it, some frustrations, but on the whole it tried to redeem itself by the end. The truth of the matter is, though, the actual conflict doesn't become apparent until 3/4 through the book. There's no direct conflict between the characters, and there's really very little drama. What drama there is, it seems to be swept under the carpet for convenience's sake. Containment follows around Arik Ockley, a brilliant computer scientist who's recovering from an accident. The nature of the accident itself is a long time in reveal, with Cantrell trying to build up to it. The frustrating thing for me, really, is that Cantrell builds his plot using a cyclical three-timeline approach. First a 'now' chapter, then a 'recent past' chapter, then a 'far past' chapter, then back to 'now'... rinse, repeat. Just when I got back to caring about 'now' or 'then', the timeline flipped around on me. There were no time tags at the beginning of the chapters... little things, that built into irritation. I do like the plot itself, the execution thereof, but a vast majority of this book is the explanation and re-explanation of science. It felt very dumbed-down, which I suppose is alright, but I could have done with a bit harder science, since that's what the plot seemed to care more about anyway. Like I said, I -want- to like this book. But truth be told, I'm kind of 'meh' about it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Mancini

    When Arik Ockley wakes up in a hospital after being rescued from a serious "outside" accident, his life is suddenly turned upside down when he begins to use his genius-like high-tech skills to uncover a well hidden secret that the founders of A1 (a geodesic dome style containment on the planet Venus) have been harboring for decades. To Arik, "outside" means outside the dome of what he believes is the outer atmosphere of another planet where he was born and raised in seclusion. The selected famil When Arik Ockley wakes up in a hospital after being rescued from a serious "outside" accident, his life is suddenly turned upside down when he begins to use his genius-like high-tech skills to uncover a well hidden secret that the founders of A1 (a geodesic dome style containment on the planet Venus) have been harboring for decades. To Arik, "outside" means outside the dome of what he believes is the outer atmosphere of another planet where he was born and raised in seclusion. The selected families of A1 were brought on board because of their top level of intelligence and talents, and babies born to the colony were matched at birth with the opposite sex for an assured plan that the colony will survive and continue for many generations. Trouble is they are running out of air. As Arik graduates from school and is ready to use his incredible skills for the purpose of improving the colony, he is asked to participate in the most important unsolved problem A1 has. The founders need him to solve the dilemma of finding more air so that the next generation can reproduce and continue with the mission. Another solution to recycling air or reproducing oxygen must be found. But when Arik starts digging, and hacking into computer mainframes, and investigating both personnel and outer atmosphere conditions, he realizes they have all been seriously duped. Mysteries,and questions begin to surface as Arik begins to discover layers of lies, deceit, and betrayals that will put all their lives at risk. Christian Cantrell's novel paints a vivid picture of what life would be like if Earth was destroyed from a cataclysmic event and was forced to develop programs for space colonization in other parts of the solar system. The author's creative mind stirs up an exciting and unique sci-fi thriller that is beyond the average when compared to other stories being currently pumped out. Containment is a true "science" fiction novel with many detailed descriptions of science and computer related elements from both the present day and in the far future. For some readers there might be too much detailed and complicated science not normally understood by the layman, but then again, others like myself who know nothing about science just might find it incredibly fascinating in spite of the incredibly detailed data. I was ready to give the book 5 stars because I loved the idea of the story and sincerely felt it was well executed. I enjoy creativity and ingenuity and felt Cantrell certainly offered that. But I cut my star review back to four because I did feel the ending was a bit anti-climactic and could have been a little more of a surprise. This reader thinks a little bit more, a longer story, could have helped put more substance into the minor background stories and characters that sort of did not get enough attention, or to a few of the teeny things I believe were not resolved and left open for interpretation. All in all, this was a great story, very fun and entertaining and I look forward to what the author comes up with next.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cass

    This review is based on the ebook sample Rating: probably not... Would have to be desperate for something to read. The first few chapters are positively overloaded with world building. The author is very heavy handed about it, particularly as so much of it was just fluffy stuff. For example we learn the planet is called V1. Then we get to learn the much longer official name, followed by a long dialogue about why it is called V1 and who calls it that. This kind of world building is repeated on eve This review is based on the ebook sample Rating: probably not... Would have to be desperate for something to read. The first few chapters are positively overloaded with world building. The author is very heavy handed about it, particularly as so much of it was just fluffy stuff. For example we learn the planet is called V1. Then we get to learn the much longer official name, followed by a long dialogue about why it is called V1 and who calls it that. This kind of world building is repeated on every page. I feel like I have to sit through a study of the history and social structure of the planet before I am allowed to read the book. I am left with no idea what the book is about. Well I know there is a guy woke from a coma with a pregnant wife. Nothing else is relevant. One last note... The planet had 1000 inhabitants. Some calculations worked out they could sustain 100 more inhabitants do everyone went out and got pregnant straight away. The protagonist forms part of that generation. He is in his twenties and his wife being pregnant is a bad thing as the baby would be life 1101 which is too many. What bugs me is a few things.. Firstly, such round figures of 1000 and 100 annoy me. If the calculations were real, not guesses or estimates or averages, then I would expect an odd figure, ie 923. Secondly, the figures make no allowance for male/female, body weight, physical activity. All of these would affect the figures. Thirdly, a whole generation has been born and raised but no one died in that time? Fourthly, on learning they could sustain 100 more people why didn't they stagger the conception rates... Ie 10 per year for 10years. Which leads on to the question why they didn't allow for natural growth in the first place... No one can reproduce on this planet???

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Update Oct 2015 After recently purchasing book two, I knew I'd have to give this one another go. I remembered nothing about it and as you can see below, my original review was pretty vague. I still completely agree with my rating but the 'why' of it has changed. The story starts with Arik who is a member of a colony living on Venus. In fact, he has lived there all of his life. He's just waking up from brain surgery because of an accident he can't remember. While trying to get back into his life, h Update Oct 2015 After recently purchasing book two, I knew I'd have to give this one another go. I remembered nothing about it and as you can see below, my original review was pretty vague. I still completely agree with my rating but the 'why' of it has changed. The story starts with Arik who is a member of a colony living on Venus. In fact, he has lived there all of his life. He's just waking up from brain surgery because of an accident he can't remember. While trying to get back into his life, he discovers a clue left behind which leads him to believe something other than an accident happened. The story then bounces to the past to explain how the colony came to be and all the events leading up to his surgery. It was part technical, part mystery, and apparently just as good the second read through, with the exception of one thing...If you've read The Martian, you'll most likely agree the worst parts were all the details. Not the descriptions of the planet and his surroundings, but the 'If I take X gallons of water and apply X gigajoules of electricity, taking into account a gravimetric force of Y...(continue this for several pages), ..That kind of boring detail, well it's basically the same in this. Computer details, environment details, DNA details, blah, blah, blah. Some of it had to be there but if I wanted to read a how-to guide, I would have bought that instead. Details aside, I really liked it (again). Recommended for readers of science fiction, this can be read as a stand alone but I'm eagerly moving on to book two. ------------------------ Original review Jan 2013 I couldn't put this book down. It really captured my imagination....but in the end you learn that it was all a lie (you'll understand what I mean when you read it). The only reason I didn't give this book one more star is because I had too many questions when I finished it. You never really know what happened. Why were they there? What happened to Earth? Were there other "outposts" like this one? Aargh.....I know the saying is "Always leave them wanting more", but come on. To leave a person hanging like this could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Christian, if you read this, you may want to consider writing "Containment 2 - What actually happened". I'd buy it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    Living in space is hard. Like, really hard. Like, super almost-impossibly-crazy-stupid hard. Leviathan Wakes has some great moments that illustrate the various hazards of living in space, and it underscores the importance of Earth’s continued existence to the otherwise estranged colonies and stations. Yet even it has a fairly optimistic outlook on our ability to harness the solar system for our needs. Containment, on the other hand, makes even starting up a colony on Venus an issue. Christian Ca Living in space is hard. Like, really hard. Like, super almost-impossibly-crazy-stupid hard. Leviathan Wakes has some great moments that illustrate the various hazards of living in space, and it underscores the importance of Earth’s continued existence to the otherwise estranged colonies and stations. Yet even it has a fairly optimistic outlook on our ability to harness the solar system for our needs. Containment, on the other hand, makes even starting up a colony on Venus an issue. Christian Cantrell goes for brutal realism when it comes to some of the challenges facing the Venusian colonists, even if he is somewhat less realistic in the technology and plot of this story. I found the technology in Containment somewhat paradoxical. They have quantum computers and nuclear fusion, but they still can’t communicate reliably with Earth? (There are other reasons for this, of course, but I won’t get into that.) And why does it take until someone like Arik comes along to develop artificial photosynthesis by using evolutionary algorithms? We already do that in robotics; why wouldn’t someone think to do that in biology? I can set those nits aside, though. It’s clear Cantrell has done the research regarding trying to survive in an environment like that present on the surface of Venus. He has plenty of cool science-fictional ideas, ranging from genetic engineering to robotics and cybernetics. In many respects, Gen V reminds me of the Supers from Nancy Kress’ Beggars and Choosers —so advanced they leave their progenitors in the dust. But Containment isn’t a book about the complications surrounding genetic engineering, or even a book about the challenges facing our society in the future. The society of Earth in Containment is practically non-existent. As Arik works on solving the mystery he discovers after recovering from a near-fatal accident, he stumbles across a secret bigger than he would ever have imagined. Cantrell pulls an M. Night Shyamalan (literally) and turns our frame of reference on its head. This twist should have been just another OMG moment in an already compelling story—except it wasn’t. As much as Containment is a clever vision that mixes environmental catastrophes with solar system colonization, Cantrell’s writing drags the story back down into mediocrity. His offense is one of the most mundane: telling rather than showing. In between chapters set in the present and flashbacks to the past, there are chapters consisting solely of infodumps about the colony and its history. Infodumps have their place in any story, and especially in science fiction, but there are classy infodumps with their own rooms and curtains that cover the window, and then there are the cheap, trashy infodumps that proposition you on a street corner while you drive by. Containment’s infodumps are, sadly, of the latter variety: very plain, by the book, and with all-too-little sex appeal. They read like something straight out of the backgrounder wiki or bible that writers often prepare for themselves prior to writing a story. Thus, while the infodumps unquestionably contain cool ideas and tantalizing visions of the future, they quench any momentum the story has developed and bring the plot to a grinding halt. Showing cedes the floor to telling elsewhere in the book too. Rather than demonstrate Arik’s feelings towards others, the narrator often resorts to explaining, in detail, Arik’s thought process. As with exposition, a little of this is fine and probably even necessary. However, Containment spends more time in Arik’s head or in the exposi-space in between than it does in action sequences or intense exchanges of dialogue. The conflict between characters here is watered-down and B-movie in its delivery: the minor characters like Cadie and Cam are either wooden or one-note in their stock reactions to everything. I loved the twist around which Containment pivots, and the mystery leading up to the reveal. It’s dramatic and believable, changing the direction of Cantrell’s plot and themes entirely will preserving a great deal of ground he has already laid. Arik’s solution is innovative and exciting, so there’s little reason for this book to be unsatisfying—except, alas, the writing. I just had a hard time enjoying the book, enjoying reading it. The ideas here are assembled nicely, but the work as a whole lacks the polish to make it truly shine. Containment is science fiction where that fusion between science and fiction hasn’t quite taken hold—plenty of both, but not quite in the right proportions.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gene Hult

    Containment is a rather nifty science fiction novel, rife with fascinating ideas and twists. It's heavy on the science, and engineering geeks should get a big kick out of it, although environmentalists will get just as much from it. The best part is how well-thought out all the concepts are -- the science is believable, and intricately detailed but rarely boring, with some very difficult explanations boiled down to easily-digestible nuggets. The biggest problem is the characterizations, which ar Containment is a rather nifty science fiction novel, rife with fascinating ideas and twists. It's heavy on the science, and engineering geeks should get a big kick out of it, although environmentalists will get just as much from it. The best part is how well-thought out all the concepts are -- the science is believable, and intricately detailed but rarely boring, with some very difficult explanations boiled down to easily-digestible nuggets. The biggest problem is the characterizations, which are very slowly and minimally delineated, so that the emotional content of the narrative is buried under the hard science and ideas. The story does build to some feeling, but not nearly as much as would have been possible if the characters weren't so lightly sketched-in. It would have helped if the novel hadn't been written in such a flat narrative style, with so little dialogue, but readers (particularly young-adult readers) will find much to enjoy in the cool scientific concepts and well-described setting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    If I wrote a novel, it would probably come out a lot like this, which is the main reason I don't write novels. There are a bunch of good ideas in here, in particular a whole ecosystem of inventions that launches the story convincingly into the far future such as a colony on Venus with ferns that produce ozone. The problem is that the author spends two-thirds of the book EXPLAINING EVERYTHING about the past history of the colony and Earth, the technologies used by the colonists, and even the char If I wrote a novel, it would probably come out a lot like this, which is the main reason I don't write novels. There are a bunch of good ideas in here, in particular a whole ecosystem of inventions that launches the story convincingly into the far future such as a colony on Venus with ferns that produce ozone. The problem is that the author spends two-thirds of the book EXPLAINING EVERYTHING about the past history of the colony and Earth, the technologies used by the colonists, and even the characters' actions. There's a decent half a plot in here, but not enough time to complete it or fill it out with complete characters because of all the explanation embedded throughout the narrative. And oy, the passive voice! So much of the action and planning in the book "was done" or "had thought". However, you could look at it a different way: this book is a great illustration of why you want to avoid the passive voice when you write and why you don't want to explain why your sci-fi ideas are plausible (Ready Player One has this problem too at the beginning). It's also an illustration of why splitting a timeline doesn't automatically make a story more interesting. The problem with it here is both timelines are focused on the same person who spends his entire time in the same place (the colony) and hasn't changed very much between the two sections of time. This makes it very difficult to figure out which timeline is being told in a particular chapter, similar to what my friend Chip said in his review. In this case, both timelines are actually building up to the same reveal, which doesn't help. And in one case, a chapter ends with the main character outside the colony and the next chapter skips to him in his office, except that particular transition actually does NOT represent a change in which timeline is being covered. It only represents the author skipping some action in order to have the character reflect on it later from his office. In the passive voice. This resulted in at least one confused reader having to reread the same few pages three times in order to work out what had happened and figure out the timeline hadn't been switched. The descriptions that deal with programming are very accurate (except at the VERY end), which I would expect since the author is a software developer himself. James Dashner could certainly take some notes on how it's done here to improve his own programming descriptions in The Eye of Minds and The Rule of Thoughts, although Dashner is much better at action. There are a lot of concepts that are very familiar to computer science, which you would think make this a good candidate for someone like me to read. Unfortunately, I have only myself to blame for selecting this. I saw it listed in Pixel of Ink's RSS feed when it was offered in Kindle format for $1 and the description was enough to get me to put it on my to-read list. This book is Christian Cantrell's first novel, and it probably would have been a lot better if he'd had a writing group to give him feedback about significantly refining it. I gotta be honest: that would involve throwing out more than half the story, eschewing the long explanations and avoiding passive voice and for heaven's sake NOT CUTTING AWAY FROM THE ACTION. There is a lot of potential here, with a convincing far-future setting and half a good plot. I hope, if Cantrell writes more, that he works heavily on improving his style. If this were rewritten to make serious improvements, it could have been a four-star book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Parajunkee

    When you compare a novel to Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card you better bring it. I had high hopes for this novel and just ended up chucking it to the side in disgust. I really am disappointed and am scratching my head as to why this came up via Amazon Vine. I didn't realize that this was the same novel that had been on the Top Kindle charts for so long. In Christian Cantrell's future, Earth is in a crisis (climate change, what else) and the powers-that-be have devised that the only way to save When you compare a novel to Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card you better bring it. I had high hopes for this novel and just ended up chucking it to the side in disgust. I really am disappointed and am scratching my head as to why this came up via Amazon Vine. I didn't realize that this was the same novel that had been on the Top Kindle charts for so long. In Christian Cantrell's future, Earth is in a crisis (climate change, what else) and the powers-that-be have devised that the only way to save the human race is to establish off-planet colonies. Because, of course, Venus has a much better climate than Earth. In the midst of being wowed by the technojargon and science speak, you are introduced to Arik, one of the first to be born on Venus. Arik is the the most intelligent person ever and he and his wife, the second most intelligent person ever, have to come up with a way better colonize the planet because she is pregnant. They also have to dig through all the false-truths they have been fed by the colonies founders. Look, out of all this, I do have to say the Cantrell can form a sentence is a manner very pleasant to read, even though I did notice a good bit of sentence structure issues. My problems did not revolve around Cantrell's talent as a writer. The problems that I found in the novel centered on how the book was structured, the plot behind the words and some of the beliefs that were the founding basis of the novel. I was at once taken in with the story of Arik and really enjoyed that part of the novel, but then the author would digress into long, boring "tellings" of facts and history that would have me yawning. I'm not a fan of "tell-me" type novels and this one was full of them. Chapter headings that read…"The History of V1, Part 1: The End of the Space Age" should have been my clue-in right there. They read like a history book. Even when the story moved into the character's lives it was a very dry and more telling instead of showing: "Cadie and Arik had an early dinner, and probably for the first time since the day they were married, went to bed at the same time and without opening their workspaces." Sentences like this tend to wear on me as a reader and I just find it boring, even though the underlying story might be interesting. I understand what Cantrell did here and that was come up with a great and interesting science fiction tale, full of the knowledge that is needed to tell a tale of this scope. But, I do believe that he has to go a bit deeper and let his characters bloom a bit more and it would make his novel so much better.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jacobi

    For some reason I've become hesitant to give books five-stars, because even if I love something, I don't think anything is perfect. But five stars doesn't have to mean perfect, it can just signify an incredible reading experience, and book that achieves everything it sets out to do. Just so you know where I'm coming from. Containment, was awesome. This just might be the most well realized world I've ever read in a scifi book. Even though this book is shy of 300 pages, the amount of effort Cantre For some reason I've become hesitant to give books five-stars, because even if I love something, I don't think anything is perfect. But five stars doesn't have to mean perfect, it can just signify an incredible reading experience, and book that achieves everything it sets out to do. Just so you know where I'm coming from. Containment, was awesome. This just might be the most well realized world I've ever read in a scifi book. Even though this book is shy of 300 pages, the amount of effort Cantrell goes through to give a plausible and authentic back story to the world he creates and the science he uses is unreal. Seriously, there are amazing little nuggets littered throughout the story of tech used in this world that seems like it would fall on the logical progression of where the tech of the world is now, while still managing to be fantastical. Containment has an element of oral history to it, as well, that I really enjoyed. I really liked learning how this colony on Venus came to be, and how its colonists function now that they're there. This story didn't even need to have a plot to satisfy me, but when the plot of this book kicks in -- lets just say shit gets real. This is about as hard scifi as you can get. It's pretty clear that Christian Cantrell is a smart guy, because he's given as much thought to how his world will work as he has to the motivation and destination of his characters. I can't say for certain, but I got the real sense that there were real scientific theories behind a lot of what was created in Containment which was cool. I'm not saying much about the plot of the book, because the less you know going in the better. I think some people might find Cantrell's writing a bit dry, or his explanations of tech to drone on at times. I do think it felt matter of fact, and to the point, but I appreciated that. And when it came to the talk of tech, because it all felt real to me, I dug that aspect of the book a lot (which is a good thing, because there is A LOT of talk of the tech of this world).

  13. 5 out of 5

    R X

    This isn't so much an adventure as it is someone telling you a number of things they find interesting, kind of interesting, and what's necessary to move a plot point along. You'll know what the author finds interesting by the amount of paragraphs that are devoted to the most minute activities and items. Other items, even if important, that either aren't of much interest or are somewhat unknown, are given a sprinkling of jargon, while the rest is glossed over. The unevenness becomes jarring when This isn't so much an adventure as it is someone telling you a number of things they find interesting, kind of interesting, and what's necessary to move a plot point along. You'll know what the author finds interesting by the amount of paragraphs that are devoted to the most minute activities and items. Other items, even if important, that either aren't of much interest or are somewhat unknown, are given a sprinkling of jargon, while the rest is glossed over. The unevenness becomes jarring when it leads to some minor situations being stretched out well beyond what's necessary and others, especially in regards to problems of the past, being meagerly addressed. Characterization is almost nonexistent, and really, not much actually happens to the characters until the last quarter of the book. Some of the topics are interesting, but the focus is on the reader being told what the character likes, doesn't like, or is feeling, and not revealing that through his actions or interactions. The pacing is also off, largely due to an inelegant attempt at jumping around the timeline, which is capped off by an incredibly abrupt ending. Ending isn't really the appropriate word, though, as that might imply some sort of resolution. Instead, the book simply ends. I think this would've worked much better as a short story. The story itself really doesn't take up much of the book, that falling to exposition of varying quality (as noted above). But the twist, even if a bit overused, makes for a fun reveal, and the hints at what Venus' wilds have in store for the colony does manage to build the anticipation. It's just a shame it doesn't go anywhere with it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Asmodean

    This book surprised me. Mr. Christian Cantrell has written a very deliberately paced and methodical Sci-Fi thriller. I enjoy books that are heavy on the action and light on the explicative content. To give you an idea of what I mean, I'll give an example...Action is anything from a fast jog to a full run. Explicative is anything from baby steps to a brisk walk. Containment is a brisk walk that ended up feeling like a fast jog. You will get a lot of information as pages are dedicated to revealing This book surprised me. Mr. Christian Cantrell has written a very deliberately paced and methodical Sci-Fi thriller. I enjoy books that are heavy on the action and light on the explicative content. To give you an idea of what I mean, I'll give an example...Action is anything from a fast jog to a full run. Explicative is anything from baby steps to a brisk walk. Containment is a brisk walk that ended up feeling like a fast jog. You will get a lot of information as pages are dedicated to revealing how computer systems function and the history of the universe--in the context of the story. There are action scenes that jar you out of the explicative with such force, I found myself needing to stop for a breather before continuing. However those scenes are few and used in such a way that they are both shocking and powerful. What I found surprising is that I thoroughly enjoyed the brisk walking pace of this novel. As I turned page after page I wondered why I wasn't bored, and bored I was not. I found myself flipping through the pages enjoying every detailed explicative moment of Containment. I will not go into any plot outline as I figure that if you're reading my review, you have already looked at the book. If you haven't, you'll be opening a new tab to investigate it on your own. I highly recommend Containment and if you like Thrillers, Sc-Fi, and methodically researched and written books, READ CONTAINMENT. You will be glad that you did.

  15. 4 out of 5

    SJ

    O...I don't know. It's yet another book that maybe doesn't deserve 4 stars, but makes you feel bad for giving it only 3. This story begins as an account of a brilliant young man living on a newly established colony on Venus. And I admit it started out as a bit of a snorefest. Everything just seemed too cut and dry and/or technical in the story and I took this as a lack of expertise on the part of the author at first. As it turns out, the author has a trick or two up his sleeve and reveals the st O...I don't know. It's yet another book that maybe doesn't deserve 4 stars, but makes you feel bad for giving it only 3. This story begins as an account of a brilliant young man living on a newly established colony on Venus. And I admit it started out as a bit of a snorefest. Everything just seemed too cut and dry and/or technical in the story and I took this as a lack of expertise on the part of the author at first. As it turns out, the author has a trick or two up his sleeve and reveals the story to be more complex than what appeared initially. However, even with the book picking up considerably by the end, I was never entirely convinced in the reality or humanity of the characters and their motivations. Readers will love or hate the last few pages...personally I loved them and felt they were the strongest part of the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

    A recommendation from a colleague. And at only 86p it's hard not to try it. A community of humans trying to survive as the first Venusian colony create a second generation of colonists when they realise they have enough oxygen to support 100 more people. As these 100 colonists mature and are integrated into the larger group - taking work and starting relationships of their own - one of them starts to realise that their lives on the colony are not as simplistic as they had been led to believe. A g A recommendation from a colleague. And at only 86p it's hard not to try it. A community of humans trying to survive as the first Venusian colony create a second generation of colonists when they realise they have enough oxygen to support 100 more people. As these 100 colonists mature and are integrated into the larger group - taking work and starting relationships of their own - one of them starts to realise that their lives on the colony are not as simplistic as they had been led to believe. A good book, well written, but the clues are all there if you're looking for them and I'd second guessed almost every twist before it happened.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eero

    Old school science fiction I managed to avoid knowing the big plot twist in advance, and thought I was reading an Arthur C. Clarke style nuts and bolts science fiction story with a premise that didn't make sense (why start space colonization on Venus?). Or was this leading to the tiredest cliche revelation ever? Well, sort of, but the way it was handled was pretty cool, and it was fun to read a story centered on scientific problem solving. The ending is open, leaving room for further development Old school science fiction I managed to avoid knowing the big plot twist in advance, and thought I was reading an Arthur C. Clarke style nuts and bolts science fiction story with a premise that didn't make sense (why start space colonization on Venus?). Or was this leading to the tiredest cliche revelation ever? Well, sort of, but the way it was handled was pretty cool, and it was fun to read a story centered on scientific problem solving. The ending is open, leaving room for further development of the world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Beineke

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a book that I really wanted to like, but in the end I was quite disappointed. By laying the blame on Earth becoming a dystopian nightmare Mr. Cantrell puts himself into a very tired camp that has been beaten to death and is still lacking credibility. In the end when Arik takes an air sample around the station it shows 78% carbon dioxide. This is an impossible number to be obtained. Only if the founders of the station had found a way to attract carbon dioxide to surround them could this This was a book that I really wanted to like, but in the end I was quite disappointed. By laying the blame on Earth becoming a dystopian nightmare Mr. Cantrell puts himself into a very tired camp that has been beaten to death and is still lacking credibility. In the end when Arik takes an air sample around the station it shows 78% carbon dioxide. This is an impossible number to be obtained. Only if the founders of the station had found a way to attract carbon dioxide to surround them could this possible be real. Yet, not all that far away where he is growing his plants there are near normal air readings. Those are some tough working plants! At one point it is mentioned that the station runs off of nuclear fusion. Yet, despite all of the careful detail that he engages in explaining so much of the science throughout the book, he totally sidesteps explaining how it is that nuclear fusion was made to work. The drawback with fusion is that it takes an incredibly strong electromagnetic field to force atoms together, which would require a massive amount of energy. I have seen in other reviews that people are questioning how anyone could have thought the station was on Venus when the mean surface temperature of Venus is 850 degrees F. The energy expenditure to keep the station cooled would have outstripped the reactor's energy output. Then, in the end, we find out that the station is simply out to make a massive buck by releasing critical tech under their own terms for extortionist rates. Wow, that has never appeared in fiction before... As for the story crafting itself we have characters with little emotional depth, including the main character. One might be forgiving of this in regards to Arik, the main protagonist, who is more comfortable with computers than humans, including his wife. But then his wife, Kate, becomes mostly a non-character. Arik's relationships with his best friends and parents are only touched on, but no depth is ever explored. And I didn't understand that importance of the baby that Kate was carrying. Supposedly, their daughter, Hannah, will carry special memories, but this was not handled in a Frank Herbert Dune series way and I merely shrugged my shoulders and moved along. Other things that bothered me: Why was Arik trying to grow plants on Venus? If he really thought he was on Venus, he should have questioned the viability of plant seeds to grow in 850 degree F heat! The mystery of what happened to Arik that precipitated his brain surgery and led to his memory loss is suddenly dumped on us, removing all mystery and plot devices. It could have been crafted so much better than its. Why did Arik want Kate and his friends to leave the station? It looked like they had the best lifestyle there as opposed to what they might find in the real world. Again, the depth of his motivations was never explored. Arik gets himself dead on radiation poisoning. He knew he had the poisoning, but didn't do anything on his own to treat it, like start taking iodine. At the end of the book Arik does a major reveal to all the people in the station, but it is written with so little build-up or tension that again I simply found myself shrugging my shoulders and moving on to the next book on my iPod. This could have been such a better book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gabe

    This book starts with an interesting premise, but the setting ends up deteriorating into a too-predictable, disappointing resolution. Less fundamentally, there are massive plot holes that render the main (well, only – there are no side tracks) storyline partly nonsensical. The author focusses exclusively on his vision of the society and technology underpinning the story, bits of which, he goes to great lengths to explain in quite unimportant detail – though only bits that have currently-understoo This book starts with an interesting premise, but the setting ends up deteriorating into a too-predictable, disappointing resolution. Less fundamentally, there are massive plot holes that render the main (well, only – there are no side tracks) storyline partly nonsensical. The author focusses exclusively on his vision of the society and technology underpinning the story, bits of which, he goes to great lengths to explain in quite unimportant detail – though only bits that have currently-understood explanations, there's very little technobabble. Unfortunately, this leaves no character development whatsoever, the reader does not get to know even Arik, the protagonist, much less any of the supporting cast, who remain only names without face, without opinions, without attitudes, without any characteristics. This is a matter of taste, and I wouldn't have minded if it had been supported by better writing: I first heard the phrase "show, don't tell" from C.E. Murphy. Advice that Mr. Cantrell seems to have never received. What description there is of characters is awkward – "Kelley had the air of a used car salesman sometimes, but he also had an authentic and vulnerable side to him that even his detractors admired". Vast swathes of the book consist of this sort of narrative exposition with great pathos, from the brief – "Arik thought about how he was taking risks far beyond anything he had ever imagined. He couldn't tell anymore how far he was willing to go, or even what he might be capable of." – to the long-winded: (view spoiler)[ When the maglev stopped in front of the Wrench Pod, Cam and Zaire were standing on the platform. Arik knew that things would be awkward between he and Cam, but as he watched them step into the last section and seat themselves opposite himself and Cadie, it occurred to him that things could also be very awkward between Cadie and Zaire. He wondered how much Zaire knew about the baby. Had she encouraged Cam to do what he did, or was it possible that she didn't even know that the baby had once been her husband's? How would her feelings toward Cadie affect her feelings toward Arik, and how would all their emotions influence their ability to listen objectively to what Arik had to tell them? Arik realized that the moving parts that drove human emotion and interaction were far more intricate and delicate and explosive than anything found inside manmade machinery. He knew that in order to change all of their lives, he needed to tear down everything that had been built up between tem, compact it all down into a clean and solid foundation on top of which he could start building something completely new, something with no moving parts, something so towering and imposing that none of them could dismiss it. (hide spoiler)] — after "husband's", everything else just gets in the way. There's a lot of that. The premise of the book is interesting, and the storyline had a chance to be gripping, but reading through this was more of a chore than a pleasure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crazyjamie

    Containment is the second book that I bought for mere pence from the Kindle store. The description of the book sounded interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a go. In short, after Earth's near devastation in the future, the world sets up the GSA (Global Space Agency) to set about colonising other planets in an attempt to preserve the human race. This is eventually achieved on Venus, where a largely self sustaining colony of 1000 people is set up to work on technological breakthroughs that Containment is the second book that I bought for mere pence from the Kindle store. The description of the book sounded interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a go. In short, after Earth's near devastation in the future, the world sets up the GSA (Global Space Agency) to set about colonising other planets in an attempt to preserve the human race. This is eventually achieved on Venus, where a largely self sustaining colony of 1000 people is set up to work on technological breakthroughs that will ultimately aid all of mankind. Arik is part of Gen V, a group of 100 children who were the first to be born on Venus, bringing the total population of the colony to 1100, which is the absolute limit that the amount of oxygen in the colony can support. Gen V are expected to be the new generation that will finally make breakthroughs that will advance the colony. Arik is considered the smartest of his generation, but the already considerable pressure on him to succeed is enhanced when his wife reveals that she is pregnant, and will soon give birth to a child that the current levels of oxygen in the colony simply cannot support. The sci-fi genre has no shortage of stories like this, and whilst the setting of Containment can't be called generic, equally it doesn't tread new ground for the genre either. However, Cantrell does an excellent job of building up an image of the colony and engaging the reader with the plight of the colonists. The main focus of the book is Arik himself, but the peripheral characters are detailed just enough to give a sense of the society and culture that exists within the colony. The plot itself progresses at a decent enough pace, with Cantrell cleverly jumping between different time periods to the reader interested and engaged. There is some sense of mystery and tension from the outset, and this is maintained until the plot becomes more hard hitting later on. The book isn't perfect. Cantrell favours significant passages where he describes science and technology, and whilst this fits in well in the initial portions of the book, I felt it was over used towards the end, to the point where the pace of the final 10% or so of the book felt a bit laboured, albeit the ending itself was satisfying enough. Overall though this is well worth a read for fans of the genre, and may even ensnare the odd newcomer. I was debating with myself whether to award this three or four stars, and I think ultimately I would have given it three and a half if I could. But the well constructed setting and largely engaging plot makes it worth rounding up for me, so four stars it is.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Niles

    In the distant future, man will try to colonize the solar system. If the planet is not destroyed by polluting the atmosphere or nuclear war, there may be a catastrophic event such as a meteor strike that will necessitate a move off of planet earth. Venus is the planet of choice for the first extra-terrestrial colony. V1 is the name given to the first Venus colony. When established, there were 1,000 initial colonists, almost all of them scientists and engineers. Oxygen content inside the containme In the distant future, man will try to colonize the solar system. If the planet is not destroyed by polluting the atmosphere or nuclear war, there may be a catastrophic event such as a meteor strike that will necessitate a move off of planet earth. Venus is the planet of choice for the first extra-terrestrial colony. V1 is the name given to the first Venus colony. When established, there were 1,000 initial colonists, almost all of them scientists and engineers. Oxygen content inside the containment was the limiting factor in population size, and after the maximum number of plants were grown it was determined that the oxygen produced could support another 100 individuals. Thus was the beginnings of generation V, the 100 children born to the original colonists. Arek was probably the brightest of all gen V children. By the time he graduated high school, he was better with computers than any of the adults. However, he was chosen to work in the Life Pod in order to tackle the problem of artificial photosynthesis (AP) and increase the amount of oxygen produced. Arek married Cadie, a gen V biologists, and they worked together on the AP problem. Arek tried to get approval for a terraforming project, convinced that if the planet could support plant life, it could produce enough oxygen to supply the atmosphere and eliminate the need for the containment buildings. Unable to gain support for his idea, he continued his experiments in secret. Gaining the support of his friend Cam, who worked in the Maintenance Pod, Arek was able to access environment suits and trek outside the containment buildings to plant his test instruments. But Arek had an accident that caused a brain injury. After brain surgery, he finally awoke after almost 3 months in a coma. He had lost some of his memories, but other than that there seemed to be little effect on his brain. When he came to, he found out that Cadie was pregnant. Since there was not enough oxygen to support another life, the pressure was increased to solve the AP problem. Then an error message appeared on all the computers. Nobody was able to translate the code and Arek was asked to take a look at it. What Arek found would forever change his life and ultimately the lives of everyone in V1. I thought this was a very well written book and an enjoyable read. The ending caught me by surprise and raised some interesting questions about human nature. If you are a science fiction fan, then you will enjoy this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claire Fun

    I'm not sure - 3 ½ stars, if I could. I don't know if I'll vote 3 or 4! Parts of this book were great, and others not so much. I enjoyed the basic plot - following the efforts of Arik to achieve artificial photosynthesis in the Venus colony so as to be able to support one more life - that of his unborn child. Roughly. I enjoyed his, let's say 'voyage of discovery' and found those parts of the book very good...though can't talk about specifics without spoilers. It was an interesting version of th I'm not sure - 3 ½ stars, if I could. I don't know if I'll vote 3 or 4! Parts of this book were great, and others not so much. I enjoyed the basic plot - following the efforts of Arik to achieve artificial photosynthesis in the Venus colony so as to be able to support one more life - that of his unborn child. Roughly. I enjoyed his, let's say 'voyage of discovery' and found those parts of the book very good...though can't talk about specifics without spoilers. It was an interesting version of the 'limited resources space base' type. There wasn't vast amounts of dialogue but liked what there was, but there was an awful lot of set up and description and sometimes during these chapters, my thoughts did wander. At one point I'd closed the book for the night as it was gone midnight and it wasn't keeping me awake, and when I opened it the next morning, I couldn't remember what I was reading or why I was bothering with it. Luckily, after those few pages, it came back to me, and I am glad I stuck with it as it wasn't actually that hard a read after all. Not sure I was a hundred percent satisfied with the ending, but the climax was an exciting build up at the end, with a reasonable race-against-time feel to it. A lot of the characters were effectively just placeholders but the two actual characters of Arik and his best friend Cam were okay. Arik is clearly quite clever (!) and did come across as reserved and almost robotic in his thoughts, but that felt fairly realistic for an uber-genious type. Not stunningly likeable, mind. So yes, the sci-fi was good, and I think it'll be memorable, but the rest a little dull.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dave Jones

    Apparently, this is the first full-length novel by Mr. Cantrell. What a debut! He has a gift for explaining advanced technology simply without being overdone. The setting takes place on Venus. The main character -- Arik -- lives in a community (V1) of 1100 souls. Earth had polluted itself into near extinction before finally arriving at the ecological technologies that would hopefully save it. In the meantime, V1 is the next step in human interplanetary colonization. Cantrell tells the story very Apparently, this is the first full-length novel by Mr. Cantrell. What a debut! He has a gift for explaining advanced technology simply without being overdone. The setting takes place on Venus. The main character -- Arik -- lives in a community (V1) of 1100 souls. Earth had polluted itself into near extinction before finally arriving at the ecological technologies that would hopefully save it. In the meantime, V1 is the next step in human interplanetary colonization. Cantrell tells the story very well. The technology is presented in such a manner that makes it seem poosible-ish. The parallel history of Earth and V1 is fascinating. I would've given this book 5 stars if it weren't for the unresolved ending. It's begging for a sequel -- which is probably the point. Given the book's title, I expected a more self-contained story! Cantrell's blind spot is his lack of character development. The players in the story are very one-dimensional. Even Arik comes off a bit like an automaton. We know virtually nothing about one of the key characters (Kelley). The interaction between persons is minimal. This is THE shortcoming that, if not addressed, will keep Christian Cantrell on the good side of the good-great sci-fi storysmithing. Despite its shortcomings Containment is a very good, very fun read. I'm sure I will be revisiting Mr. Cantrell in the future.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lars

    Considering the content of the book, I don't want to say much in order to avoid giving a spoiler. The author describes a colony on Venus and the difficulties the settlers have to deal with. To begin with the positive aspects: one of the biggest assets of the novel is discussing interesting technologies like terraforming, cloud computing and genetic engineering. I really liked the questions Cantrell brought up, as some of the issues are of concern even today. On the other hand, the technical focu Considering the content of the book, I don't want to say much in order to avoid giving a spoiler. The author describes a colony on Venus and the difficulties the settlers have to deal with. To begin with the positive aspects: one of the biggest assets of the novel is discussing interesting technologies like terraforming, cloud computing and genetic engineering. I really liked the questions Cantrell brought up, as some of the issues are of concern even today. On the other hand, the technical focus is the cause of some dissapointments, as the author doesn't perform very well in combining the technological and the human factor. I think that the main characters are described adequate, but for me, they weren't brought to life very successful. For example I couldn't see the emotional bond of main character Arik to his wife and his unborn child. The other colonists are featured even more scarcely, so the whole scenery is somehow brittle and lacking of emotion. So in the end, Containment is a mixture of a technical discussion and a shortstory which is ok done, but can't be compared to outstanding SF-authors like Heinlein, Asimov or Alastair Reynolds. I liked the book, but that's it. Won't stay in my mind for a long time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Bardua

    I liked this book. You really need to understand some basic science principles, especially concerning space and subatomic theory. Well, maybe not, because they explain some of it, but definitely would be a better read if you did have a background. What makes this different than most science fiction is that the author bases his story on scientific knowledge up to the present. As the book progresses, we are introduced to the science of the future. What happens to space travel? What do we discover I liked this book. You really need to understand some basic science principles, especially concerning space and subatomic theory. Well, maybe not, because they explain some of it, but definitely would be a better read if you did have a background. What makes this different than most science fiction is that the author bases his story on scientific knowledge up to the present. As the book progresses, we are introduced to the science of the future. What happens to space travel? What do we discover about quantum mechanics? How and where will man colonize other planets in our universe? Is it even necessary in the long run? How do we even begin to sustain life elsewhere? This story develops a future that could actually have some plausiblity with the knowledge we have today and the science we have not begun to understand. This is a world that begins with fact and continues in the direction of one of the infinite possibilities concerning mankind's future. I expected the ending, but not until about 2/3 through the book. Christian Cantrell delves deeper and deeper into the secrets meant to protect and society in the future. In this time of economic crisis, take a trip into the future and see what it holds (well, okay, maybe not; but how do YOU know?)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I struggled with this one - was this supposed to be a technical dissertation of how a colony might happen? Or was this a story about a colony that experiences what it is to be cut off from everything? The premise of the story was interesting enough, but the scientific and historical info dumps were very distracting. The historical background was pontificating on our current global warming crisis and the results thereof, and the scientific info dumps on why things worked they way they worked made I struggled with this one - was this supposed to be a technical dissertation of how a colony might happen? Or was this a story about a colony that experiences what it is to be cut off from everything? The premise of the story was interesting enough, but the scientific and historical info dumps were very distracting. The historical background was pontificating on our current global warming crisis and the results thereof, and the scientific info dumps on why things worked they way they worked made it seem like I - the reader - wouldn't understand unless it was explained in excruciating detail. Additionally, the excessive scientific and historical exposition made the human aspect of the story choppy and disjointed. What could have been a very interesting tale about struggling to live as an isolated colony, and as a First Generation colonist, and the lies everyone was living with was diminished because you had to slog through the scientific "how V1 worked" and "why they were there". So, ultimately, a potentially interesting story that was bogged down by too much information.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jose

    Wow! Mind boggling, science heavy, great story! This is the kind of sci-fi story which merits its Sci part. The author creates a very believable world and while explaining the science involved (engineering, computers, biology, genetics, psychology) in this Venus society, it slowly deconstructs what he built. The story is also written in two time frames, and we see the past and present of Arik rapidly meeting to this unexpected ending. Mankind last hope is here! Will we make it ? At the end of this gr Wow! Mind boggling, science heavy, great story! This is the kind of sci-fi story which merits its Sci part. The author creates a very believable world and while explaining the science involved (engineering, computers, biology, genetics, psychology) in this Venus society, it slowly deconstructs what he built. The story is also written in two time frames, and we see the past and present of Arik rapidly meeting to this unexpected ending. Mankind last hope is here! Will we make it ? At the end of this great book and its still a rollercoaster! Cant put down! I'm sure to follow the author to see if this was just a fluke, but even if it was, this book is great and i'm going to share it to some of my friends who are scifi fans! The blurb is something like, mankind has finally built a colony and its on Venus! And suddenly Earth stops communicating so the colony is all alone and must produce its own resources and manage what it has... But not everyone agrees with the established and one man's questions will lead to a revelation...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lady

    Living In A Bubble This series must be read in order. This is the first book. Arik was genetically engineered to be the greatest mind ever born. Anywhere. Being one of the magical 100 children born on Venus is just the beginning for him. He cannot be contained or curtailed as he was designed to solve impossible problems. Too bad no one told him that solving problems isn't always a good thing. Especially when some problems are not meant to be solved as solving them would destroy the fabric of their Living In A Bubble This series must be read in order. This is the first book. Arik was genetically engineered to be the greatest mind ever born. Anywhere. Being one of the magical 100 children born on Venus is just the beginning for him. He cannot be contained or curtailed as he was designed to solve impossible problems. Too bad no one told him that solving problems isn't always a good thing. Especially when some problems are not meant to be solved as solving them would destroy the fabric of their society. But as with most geniuses hearing the word no is just and extra incentive to do what he wants to anyways. This is a true SciFi gem set far in the future. What starts out looking like a Utopia quickly shows its dystopian mores. Plenty of intrigue and mystery spice up this cerebral thriller right up until the end! I can't wait to find out what happens next in the next book! ***This series is suitable for mature young adult through adult readers who like nothing is what it seems SciFi and don't mind fictitious science/history lessons adding to the realism :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Long

    In Containment, Arik is one of a new generation of settlers on a base on the planet Venus. With dwindling oxygen supplies, Arik is tasked with coming up with ways to increase the oxygen supply. During his quest to develop plants that can grow in the harsh conditions, he discovers secrets about his colony V1 then he must confront and ultimately decide what to do about. I read this book after reading the second one (Equinox) and wanting to learn more about the back story. I found the novel to be we In Containment, Arik is one of a new generation of settlers on a base on the planet Venus. With dwindling oxygen supplies, Arik is tasked with coming up with ways to increase the oxygen supply. During his quest to develop plants that can grow in the harsh conditions, he discovers secrets about his colony V1 then he must confront and ultimately decide what to do about. I read this book after reading the second one (Equinox) and wanting to learn more about the back story. I found the novel to be well-paced and quite interesting. Arik was fun to follow as he learns more about the secrets of the colony. I can't go into too much detail with it being spoilers, but suffice to say the book has a few twists and revelations which turn everything upside down. The only main complaints I had were that other than Arik, the other characters were not very well developed. And even in the end, the reader is left with a ton of unanswered questions (luckily most of these are answered in the sequel). Overall it was a fun page turner for me and an enjoyable read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn McCary

    This is a reasonably clever story about a future colony on a hostile planet. The colony cannot increase its population because its ability to generate oxygen is sufficient only for the number of lives then in being; the story is told through the eyes (but not the voice) of the young man the colony looks to to change that constraint. Or--is that what really what the colony is looking for? The premise is interesting, the story well structured (and definitely a play-fair where clues are concerned). This is a reasonably clever story about a future colony on a hostile planet. The colony cannot increase its population because its ability to generate oxygen is sufficient only for the number of lives then in being; the story is told through the eyes (but not the voice) of the young man the colony looks to to change that constraint. Or--is that what really what the colony is looking for? The premise is interesting, the story well structured (and definitely a play-fair where clues are concerned). Unfortunately, while the writing is competent, the style is pedestrian, using too many formulaic phrases and entirely too much telling at the expense of showing. It could also have used a slightly more intense level of copyediting and proofreading than it received. Still, the story was just compelling enough to keep me engaged to the end; it just wasn't compelling enough to make me pick up another by this author.

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