Storm was 18 years old and not clear on what he wanted to do with his life . When they were kids Storm and his younger sister Summer were adopted by Pete and Stella. Sadly they fell on hard times and the family broke apart. Now Storm is thinking of joining the armed forces which the family isn’t happy about including his girlfriend Penny.
Storm’s problems get thrown on the back burner though as Pete and Penny’s astronomer father discover that a Star is entering Earth’s solar system which will wipe out 70% of all life on Earth. To make matters worse, there is a secret organization within the government that wants to make sure that there will be as few survivors as possible. Storm and his family will have to escape assassination squads and find shelter if they are going to survive the biggest disaster of all time.
Jubilee Year by Gerard O’Neill sucks you in by letting you get to know an average normal family and once you like them you get to see how this family survives the apocalypse. What really makes this story interesting is how it’s told. There are a lot of apocalypse books out there that are full of action but this one takes a different approach by introducing likable characters and then getting into a conspiracy theory followed by a catastrophe. The story starts simple but gets more complex as it goes along.
When I first got this book I was apprehensive because I read reviews saying that nothing interesting happens in the first half of the story. As you are reading though you realize that the author knew what he was doing by not having a lot of action early on. Gerald O’Neill makes you care about Storm’s family because you can relate to the problems that they have. Such as Pete being an alcoholic, Storm not knowing what to do with himself as he moves into adulthood and Penny’s father finding out that something horrible is about to happen but thinking no one will believe him.
I was invested right there and would have liked just a story about these characters but then we get into what is going on with the government cover-up. The book introduces a shadowy organization that controls the government and media and keeps our attention off of what is really going on. I loved the concept of the media keeping the attention off of the changes in the atmosphere since I’ve read theories online before about are planet changing and the media covering it up. I also loved how the science of what is happening is explained. With a lot of Science Fiction books, the scientific explanations go over my head but in this book I had no problem understanding and believing in what is happening.
I loved that this story was a slow build and then you are left to wonder who Storm can and can’t trust. My favorite part of this book was the idea that even with civilization as we know it coming to an end, you still have a group of people trying to control the masses. I like this because I think if something like this was really going to happen there would still be people who wanted to have power over others. Jubilee Year is the first in a three book series and definitely worth your time.