Author Patrick Morgan
Thank you so much to author Patrick Morgan for providing me with a copy of Apparent Horizon in exchange for this honest review.
Apparent Horizon is an apocalypse story of a different breed. We’re used to reading about a character trying to survive after everything has already gotten as bad as it could get. This story follows a character as he believes the world is ending but no one else in the world seems to think so.
The book opens with trio of friends Drew, Michael, and Aaron. Drew is getting married in the morning and the bros are celebrating in the traditional manner of getting drunk and bashing the prison of marriage. Eye roll. Drew is a total tool. I really dislike him right from the start and the way he treats his best friends by the end of the night makes me like him even less.
Honestly, this whole book was a struggle for me as far as the characters go. They’re extraordinarily unlikable. It is somewhat necessary for this particular story to be told but it did make it more difficult to get into.
So at this final night of bachelorhood Aaron drunkenly confesses something huge to his friends. He works for NASA and has been privy to some serious information. He says that tomorrow a gamma ray burst will hit the earth and it will kick start the absolute destruction of the planet.
The other two don’t really know what to make of this until the next day when an odd event seems to take place in the sky during the ceremony. At exactly the time Aaron said it would. Apparently, this gamma ray concern is real.
The concern gets even realer when Aaron kills himself and leaves a note telling Michael he should do the same rather than suffer the upcoming fate of the world. Woah.
Drew takes this opportunity to act like even more of a dick. Pusillanimous Michael wants to finally follow his lead and live his life more fully. Apparently, this means being a jerk, getting very drunk, and doing illegal and amoral things at any opportunity. Not exactly where my head would go immediately but let’s see how this pans out.
Throughout the rest of the book we follow Michael as he does terrible terrible things that are never justifiable even at the end of the world. All the while he manages to justify his behavior to himself. He seems to think of himself as some sort of violent hero, a vigilante serving up justice, a batman. Well, I also think Batman is a total jerk so here we are.
I told myself this would be a four or a three star review based on the ending. If Michael fully got away with his terrible behavior I was going to have a hard time with it. However, if the book became preachy and bogged down with moralistic platitudes I was also going to have a hard time.
Luckily, the ending of Apparent Horizon managed to find a more nuanced approach to complete the story and I was satisfied with the end. Overall, I enjoyed the idea of the story being told but it’s hard for me to get around hating a protagonist.
I can say that if you were a fan of the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down you will love this book. That movie also isn’t my cup of macho male fantasy but I know it is a big hit for a different audience. If you are in that camp then definitely give Apparent Horizon a shot.
4/5 💥💥💥💥 gamma ray bursts
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Buy it here: Apparent Horizon