I'm about 3 years late on this book review. When I got word that the *sequel* to my good friend Christian Cantrell's book was out, I knew I better get off my butt and read the first book in the series. One click on Amazon and a few days later and I held Containment, a Sci-Fi novel, in my hands.
I won't lie. My first thought, given the heft of the book was: Really Christian, you couldn't stick with short stories? Within a few pages I couldn't help but announce to my wife: man, this is the real deal. The writing, the story, the characters, the futuristic details, it was all written so dang well. And by a little over halfway through the book I found I couldn't put it down. Every spare moment I had, I grabbed it and read away. I pushed through the final 40 pages by forgoing lunch because I simply had to know how it ended.
I suppose I should confess it's no surprise that I like the book, as ultimately the hero is a computer programmer. It's not only his coding skills that save the day, but it's his ability to think like a programmer that let's him reason his way out of whatever mess he's in. How could I not root for him? So this character in a well written story was going to be a no brainer for me to enjoy.
I found Containment to be a sort of playground of ideas. Whether it's clever suggestions for addressing global warming (End-of-Life Plans--I so want this), computing ideas or even relationship advice, I never really thought of fiction as being a vehicle for exploring a concept. But Christian shows that it can work. And it makes sense; authors often talk about how they'll start with a character and let them naturally evolve, why not try the same thing with an idea or concept?
At the end of the day, Containment was a fun read. It more than held it's own against anything Sci-Fi I've read and in many cases was better. Perhaps the best compliment I can offer is that I've ordered the second book, and won't be waiting 3 years before I read that one.