This was a pretty good read. I don't know that I'd want to use the word
"entertaining" to describe what could be referred to as a
"disaster" novel. It is well written, moves at an agreeable pace and
kept my interest. Despite being a "disaster" story, it is not a
relentlessly disastrous mood.
A few starships have converged on the planet nicknamed "Deepsix"
because a rogue gas giant is headed for a collision with it. There's a
scientific research ship, a cruise ship full of tourists, a news media ship,
etc. A landing craft is sent down to investigate signs of ruins. An accident
leaves those on the surface without a ship capable of escaping the planet. The
starships in orbit are not capable of making planetfall. No other ships are able
to arrive before the planetary collision in 2 weeks. A creative plan is put
together to try to save them.
This is rather simplified, as
one might expect for a paragraph describing a novel's plot. Of course, there
are various subplots. There is a look at a little known planet which has had an
extra billion or so years of evolution of plant and animal life. There are bits
and pieces about two alien societies. There are issues among people on
personal, professional and business levels. There are the geological and
climatic effects of the impending collision. Along the way there are bits of
good luck and bad luck...
There are certain tried-and-true story mechanisms (or is that unimaginative
stock-formula story tinker-toy pieces?) I found myself expecting some subplots
to feed into. I guess it's a sign of how well trained we've become that when
this did not happen I had a mixture of appreciation and failed expectation.