CRITICAL DAWN by Wearmouth and Barnes

Critical dawnA ‘Post-Apocalyptic Survivors Against Colonizing Aliens’ story.  What was I thinking selecting this to read?  Good writing; terrible retro story.  I’m thinking 80’s maybe?

It started off good.  Archeologists working a dig in Roanoake Virginia find some bodies pegged at about the 1600s or thereabouts. With a nifty bead on a string necklace.  But!!!!   Hold onto your seats!!!  The bead seems to have a microchip in it.  Oooooh, how could that be?

Then the dig area suffers a huge sinkhole, into which has fallen one of the young workers.  Our hero protagonist, an experienced rock climber, insists on going down to rescue the dude.  He gets really far down into the sinkhole and a giant dome starts to rise up from the center of the sinkhole.  Yeah, it’s that old dome rising up from a sinkhole thing.  Been done.

The whole story goes downhill from there.

We then are plunked down in the middle of 2054 (I think.  Mercifully I have forgotten a lot of the details.)  We are in deep space with a handful of the members of a generation ship set to touch down in about 100 years.  but then terrible things begin to happen, and they have to escape out of the ship when it apparently crashes.

But, get this, they aren’t really on a generation ship as they believed.  They are some kind of crew running a giant harvester machine for some aliens who have taken over the planet.  And the story goes even further downhill from there.  You know, the whole humans as slaves for the conquering aliens thing.  Been done.

The aliens have been buried underground for centuries waiting for just the right moment to emerge.   The ombudsman between the aliens and the few humans working for them is a guy named Augustus.  And turns out — please, I am only the messenger here — he is really Caesar Augustus, yeah, the Roman emperor dude.  Time traveling.  And a lot of hooey about how time is all just one big blob that is all happening at once.  Been done.

Just because there is a so-called mystery woven through it about what happened to the disappeared Roanoke Colony does not make this wornout saga any more fresh than adding more chopped tomatoes to four-day-old salsa makes that palatable.

And you know what the most depressing thing is?  This is the first of a series.  Oh, my great aunt matilda.  Kill me now.

I checked Goodreads reviews to see how many other people hated this book and was astounded to find that NOBODY posting there hated it.  They all loved it!!!  Overused trope,  overdone evil aliens and overripe plot and all.  The review section was aglow with five stars, and 4 stars.  Oh, well, no accounting for taste.

Well, what do I know.  I’m just a girl.



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