The Ninth Metal (The Comet Cycle #1) by Benjamin Percy

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It began with a comet. When it came into view on a close pass by Earth, people took off work, gathering on sidewalks and in parking lots to watch it burn by. One year later, Earth spun into the debris field the comet left behind. Minnesota seemed to bear the brunt of the damage: meteors annihilated barns and silos, cratered pastures and hardwood forests, tore up county highways, and evaporated one small town in an instant.

At first, it seems to be a disaster. Until the people of Minnesota notice deposits of unusual metal in the comet’s debris. Not gold, silver, copper, tin, iron or any of the noble metals, it’s a previously unknown ninth metal: omnimetal. With high-density charging capabilities and conductive properties that can change the world as an energy source, the deposit might be the best thing that ever happened to the northern section of the state, where the economy has been dying for a long time. Or it might be the worst.

It is then that the “gold rush” begins. Farmers sell their metal-rich land for millions. Comet-worshipping cults set up compounds and repeat the phrase “Metal is” as their mantra. Roughnecks flood the town, hungry for work and trouble. Prostitutes flourish. Businesses rise. Families are divided. Saudis bid against the Chinese on land grabs. Bodies lie in shallow graves. As witnessed when oil was discovered in the Bakken Formation of North Dakota, the heartland in our story goes from the middle of nowhere to the center of everything. And one family–the Frontiers–hopes to control it all.

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun one to read. Those looking for a type of read that has all the embodiment, strong elements of a power struggle will enjoy this one.

I read it for The Poisoned Pen Bookstore Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book-of-the-Month Club.

The Story
This was the fun part. It dives into each scene with supportive structure, reading much like a comic book, in which characters from the universe are mentioned, making overall feel special, nostalgic, and treasured.

The dilemmas themselves were adventurous, some daring, some quiet parts of character self reflection, and enough subplots to keep propulsion and interest engaging.

Would have liked more scientific reasoning though. Barring not to mention flowers in the ICU and no one wears hearing protection and can’t be presumed while engaging in conversation.

There was this element of having sympathy which was fine, especially for comic-esque type style, but the end depiction of come and gather approach toward religion, and every religion equal, and preaching of coexistence was not fitting for the build up for this book and not satisfying clincher to read about. Felt thrown in there for last minute, appeasing measure.

The Writing
I enjoyed the overall writing. Elements were cohesive and the delivery of each circumstances kept interest coming.

Pacing was spot on.

A few repeat lines could have been tailored to keep certain instances fresh.

Characters
Characters have a chance to tell their origin story which was great.

I don’t know if all the characters needed to be introduced to the quantity and depth that they were though. Would have liked less characters to keep track of from this regard and with the remaining ones to have them be shown in personality or habit, would have benefited from focus, and resulted in more connection and depth. Though I’m just learning that this is a series, so maybe this makes sense or maybe adding more to the point of there being too many to sort out so early on.

I will look forward to reading more from this author.

View all my reviews

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