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Review: Point Nemo - Jeremy Robinson

Genre: Sci-fi, Action

Published: Breakneck Media, April 2024

My Rating: 2.5-ish...?

Alright, how do I frame this review…? Point Nemo was… really quite bad actually… “Bad” in the same way that a bombastic B-movie can be “bad” and still be hella entertaining. And entertained I was, as I happened to be in that very particular mood where I was craving an over-the-top-B-film but in book-form.

The story follows eccentric and aging field-mycologist Dr. Finn Maddern, as his research trip into the Amazon rainforest is cut short and he suddenly finds himself part of an unlikely rescue mission to save his daughter and humanity along the way.

Julie Rohr has inherited her father’s scientific mind, and has spent the past few months studying an alien life form aboard the ISS. That was until a catastrophic malfunction sent the ISS plummeting to Earth, leaving her alongside the alien bio-sample stranded at Point Nemo; the most remote place in the Pacific Ocean. That’s when the alien organisms reveals it has quite a few survival tricks up its sleeve.

What follows is an action packed adventure across an island that shouldn’t exist, by a ragtag crew of scientist forced to use guns over their brains in order to stay alive…

Don’t expect high-brow (or even remotely accurate to actual science) science fiction; instead prepare for blazing guns, a lot of “tough-boys-testosterone” and cheesy one liners.

The setting, pacing and individual scenes are quite creative and made this a very quick and entertaining read. You can tell this story used to be a screenplay, which the author later converted into a novel, and I’d honestly love to see a movie-adaptation, as this couldn’t be more suited to it.

Big downside, which almost made me quit the book: I hated the dialogue. It’s everything you’d expect in a bad action movie: raunchy, over-the-top, and packed with locker-room-talk. Yes, that includes the occasional racist and sexist remark. And no, acknowledging on page that your statement might be racist/sexist does not suddenly make it funny…

The author tries to add substance to the characters by giving them a more serious backstory and motivation, but much of it falls flat against the aforementioned cringy dialogue. The father-daughter-dynamic was alright. The cancer-plotline didn’t work for me. I could pick that apart for hours, but since it’s clearly not the point of the novel, I’ll stick to this: [as a cancer-survivor: I can tell you this. LATE-STAGE ILLNESS ISN’T CONVEINIENTLY OVERCOME BY CAFFEINE-PILLS. I don’t care how low-brow your story is, or how many aliens you include: don’t downplay cancer like that please…

I don’t necessarily recommend this book to my usual audience, and if you talk to me in 6 months, I might tell you this book was a heap of trash. As it stands, it was the perfect Friday-night palette-cleanser I needed after a couple of gruelingly intense weeks at work, and I appreciate it for that.

Readalikes: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (in the sense that I liked both equally as “B-movies in bookform”.

You can find this book here on Goodreads


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