Apparent Horizon by Patrick Morgan – Book Review

Apparent Horizon by Patrick Morgan – Book Review

Apparent Horizon by Patrick Morgan

Apparent Horizon

Author – Patrick Morgan
Publisher – Phase Publishing
Pages – 322
Released – 6th October 2020
ISBN-13 – 978-1952103155
Format – ebook, paperback
Rating – 3 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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With no tomorrow, what are we capable of today?

On the eve of his best friend’s wedding, Michael is warned by an old classmate, now a NASA scientist, that a gamma ray burst from a nearby exploding star will hit the Earth the following morning at 11:13 a.m. – an incident that will irrevocably destroy the ozone layer, disrupt the food chain, and ultimately prove cataclysmic for all life on the planet.

Michael and the groom-to-be, Drew, laugh off the prediction as a demented joke. However, at precisely 11:13 a.m. the next day, a blinding light in the sky disrupts Drew’s wedding. News media outlets dismiss the cosmic event as a harmless phenomenon, but Michael knows better. Wrestling with the burden of his truth, uncertain of how much time he has left or just what to do with it, Michael finds himself alienated from everything and everyone he’s ever known.

Under Drew’s influence, Michael begins to transform his rather mundane life, previously shackled by powerlessness and fear, into something more unrestrained and ultimately dangerous. Feeling the weight of an unseen doomsday clock ticking his final days away, he pushes the moral envelope further and further on a quest for control over his own reality – no matter who might suffer for it.

Review by Ed

Patrick Morgan’s novel Apparent Horizon starts with the main character, Michael Cavanaugh, getting drunk with his two best friends in Drew Baskin’s home on the night before Drew’s wedding. The third friend, Aaron Hillson, tells Michael and Drew of top-secret research he did at NASA with Gamma rays, which are released during a supernova—when a giant star collapses on itself creating a black hole.

Aaron tells them that the gamma rays from a supernova will reach earth at 11:13 in the morning, which will be during Drew’s outdoor wedding. Sure enough, at 11:13 during the wedding vows, the sky brightens both beautifully and frighteningly. The priest makes light of the phenomena by saying, “What we just witnessed was a blessing from God on this marriage.”

Three days later, Michael goes to Aaron’s apartment and discovers his dead body with a suicide note written to Michael explaining that he didn’t want to be around while the world quickly moves toward its doom. The rest of the novel is about how poorly Michael and Drew handle life during the approaching doom.

This dark novel is very well written and edited. I don’t recall reading a novel in which the main character has so few admirable qualities. In fact, I don’t recall any admirable characters in the whole novel. I was expecting to read a survival story that might turn dark at the end. I wasn’t expecting so much darkness throughout the story, and I don’t recall ever reading a novel in which the author gives the main character so many flaws. This is a very unique novel.

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2 Responses

  1. Terry Tyler says:

    Interesting – I read this for Rosie Amber’s Review Team and though it was good, but needed a bit more pizazz, the removal of uninteresting detail, and a more interesting outcome (eg, an epilogue showing that the suicide friend’s theory actually had started to come true – like… In a farm in Ecuador, **name** noticed something strange about his crops… etc!!). In a nutshell, it’s a great idea, and the guy can write, but I didn’t think it was quite ‘there’ yet.

  2. Thank you Terry for your comment. Good to hear that you read Apparent Horizon too. We can agree with your analysis.