May 12, 2012

The Swarm (Sürü)

Original Title: Der Schwarm
Turkish Title: Sürü
English Title: The Swarm
Author: Frank Schätzing
Pages: 800
My Rating: 2/5

A couple of years ago many people around me (especially at work) read this book and everyone was so impressed. I was bucy with other books at the time so I missed the book's "popular reading period" in Turkey. After my husband's great St. Valentine's present (my gorgeous Kindle Touch), I got kindle version of the same book. I decided to start reading this book on the day we were leaving for our 10-day long spring vacation in Spain. I thought it'd be nice to read a popular apocalyptic eco-thriller on the plane and on the trains as it was suggested by many as an "airport novel".

The book opens with a series of random events: fishermen going missing in Peru, whales attacking tourist boats in Canada, big colonies of tubeworms gathering around methane hydrate deposits in the North Sea... The only common thing about these incidents is that they are all ocean related. Scientists around the world start to face with the fact that something unusual going on around the world. So a task force of scientists is set up to study the phenomena and the possible causes of this under the auspices of the US Government. This leads to further disasters.

Although the plot of "The Swarm" is strong, its execution was a big disappointment for me. I couldn't help but think (like a good majority of the previous reviewers of this book) that the author had the idea of getting a disaster movie out of his book. There were many references to characters looking like well-known movie actors, In addition, giving the US Government a controlling role in the research aspect of the plot seemed strange to me at first (Note that the author is German) but then it appeared as Schätzing was in a way welcoming Hollywood movie makers.

Noone can deny the fact that there lies a deep research beneath this book. Actually, too much of the book was full of complex and detailed scientific explanations, which reminded me of some books of Jules Verne (such as From the Earth to the Moon). Although brief summaries would suffice, these deep scientific explanations appeared so frequently that I was distracted from the core plot.

My problem with the book was pretty simple: Every time the author started to speed up things, he immediately let it go by either some lenghty piece of character development or unnecessarily detailed scientific content. For instance, while you are reading about a tsunami, it may suddenly be interrupted by a random character considering a three-some with a couple of Norwegian guys. I was so annoyed by such interruptions so it took me ages to finish the book off.

Still, if you are interested in marine science or ecology of the oceans. It may turn out to be an enjoyable read for you.

It was my first book by Frank Schätzing so I can include it in New Author Challenge.
I read it in spring so I can add it to my list of Spring Reading Thing 2012.
It was an apocalyptic novel so I can also count it for 2012 Science Fiction Reader Challenge.

No comments :

Post a Comment