Review: Lucifer's Hammer

Lucifer's Hammer
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a good apocalypse book, and this was a good one. I liked how the story was told from a variety of perspectives, and how the same moment in time is retold from several viewpoints in various locations. I think this story may have heavily influenced the screen writers responsible for Deep Impact, but this story doesn't end at the point of impact.

I'm compelled to compare this to [b:One Second After|4922079|One Second After|William R. Forstchen||4987669], a much more recently published apocalypse scenario that I had previously read. I enjoyed One Second After, but I thought it could have been much better. There are some distinct differences in plot. In One Second After, the population has no warning at all of the apocalyptic event. The population of Lucifer's Hammer has months of advance notice, but are not entirely convinced that the comet will hit. The event in One Second After only disabled electronics, while Lucifer's Hammer sunders the earth. Lucifer's Hammer is better in a variety of ways. I felt more connected to the characters. I felt the science had a better foundation. I felt the reaction of the public was more believable. My only gripe with Lucifer's Hammer is the part that women play throughout, and this is likely due to the time the story was written. The story was written in the mid seventies, and you definitely get the "Mad Men" vibe what with alcohol as tonic throughout, and women largely as bedroom furniture. Even so, there are some female characters with strong, constructive roles (watch for Eileen particularly).

I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend to any other fans of post apocalyptic scenarios.

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Jade Mason