THE EDGE OF FOREVER by Jeff S. Chimenti [Review]

The Edge of Forever

Natural and man-made disasters combine to form the apocalypse to end all apocalypses in The Edge of Forever by Jeff Chimenti. As the novel starts, widower/winery owner/ex-Marine Michael Hanson meets and is immediately drawn to small town waitress Cassie McMurphy. The same day they meet, he saves her from an abusive husband and they go on the run together, too distracted to give much thought to the strange, earthquake-like ground “jumps” they’ve been experiencing. Eventually, they discover the “jumps” are related to the volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park and they might be a sign that a catastrophic natural disaster is looming. If you think things couldn’t possibly get worse, you’d be wrong. The unstable ground could cause the collapse of a military storage facility for biological weapons, triggering the release of genetically engineered microbes more lethal than anything found in nature. With time running out, Michael and his brothers set out to save their friends and family from the coming disaster.

The Edge of Forever reads like a movie that is part Lifetime movie and part Hollywood blockbuster. After Michael saves Cassie from her Neanderthal husband, they spend a lot of the book working out their emotions – Michael’s been through a lot since his wife and child died in an accident; Cassie’s been physically and emotionally abused by the Neanderthal. They go on and on and on about their feelings, but I never felt like they had any chemistry. I wanted to see a spark between them– maybe some snappy dialogue– because, frankly, I found them boring.

Of course, it’s also a thriller and there’s plenty of action as ex-military man Michael works with his two brothers to figure out what’s happening and how they are going to save the family. While it does have disaster movie/book clichés (like the corrupt politician that doesn’t believe the scientists), I found it refreshing that the three brothers are close and work well together. My main complaint is that the author spends pages and pages explaining the science behind volcanoes, and it slows down the pacing of the story. Though I found most of the scientific details tedious, he does discuss an interesting dinosaur extinction theory that I hadn’t heard before.

Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic movies and books are hot right now: 2012, The Road, 9, The Book of Eli – you get the picture. The Edge of Forever didn’t do it for me, but if you can’t read enough books in this category, you might want to check it out. It’s the first novel by self-published author Jeff Chimenti and it ends on a cliffhanger that sets up the sequel, The Edge of Forever: Brink of Extinction.

Quotes from The Edge of Forever:

When all was said and done, no one could have ever predicted how dramatically the world would change in the blink of an eye – how horrific and terrifying those days would become and how close to the edge the human species would be pushed.

What he didn’t realize was that this night would change his life forever. He also did not realize that he was experiencing some of the very first manifestations of an event that would change the course of human history.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: AuthorHouse | Pages: 304 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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