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Fragment

Average Rating 4
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(46)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Darwin's Nightmare

Warren Fahy pushes the theory of evolution to it's breaking point with his debut environmental thriller, Fragment. The book opens with the Trident, a 182 foot exploration ship scheduled to circle the globe in a year long journey to film a new cable reality show, Sea Li...
Warren Fahy pushes the theory of evolution to it's breaking point with his debut environmental thriller, Fragment. The book opens with the Trident, a 182 foot exploration ship scheduled to circle the globe in a year long journey to film a new cable reality show, Sea Life. At first the show's ratings soar but due to a series of storms, filming comes to a halt and the ratings go flat. That is until the crew stumbles onto a distress signal from a ship, one that has been lost for over three years. Nell Duckworth, the Trident's botanist is familiar with the area. She tells the crew that the island where the distress signal seems to be coming from has only been sighted three times in the past 200 years, with only one recorded landing in 1791. Cynthea, the producer of the reality show questions pursing the signal but as her career has had some bad breaks she sees this as a way to get it back on track. From this point on you might start to second guess the plot and think the the book is taking on a Jurassic Park theme but what Fahy hatches next is not a creation of man but of nature run amok.
This book is the perfect read to escape with. I'd love to see Fragment as the next summer blockbuster. But for those naysayers who want more complex characters, more subplots, more whatever; your better off finding another book to read... but before you go would you please pass the popcorn? This book is too good to put down.

posted by BevE on June 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Excellent beach novel

This science fiction thriller takes a page or two from Michael Crichton and asks the question: "What happens to the evolutionary path if a tiny island were isolated from all other land masses for the last 500 million years?" The answer is Warren Fahy's FRAGMENT.

In r...
This science fiction thriller takes a page or two from Michael Crichton and asks the question: "What happens to the evolutionary path if a tiny island were isolated from all other land masses for the last 500 million years?" The answer is Warren Fahy's FRAGMENT.

In response to a distress beacon, a seafaring American reality TV show sets its sights on Henders Island, a tiny speck of land in the South Pacific a thousand miles away from anywhere. Upon arrival, the ship's crew and its team of photogenic scientists discover an amazing array life forms so alien, the only answer to their existence is an alternate evolutionary path. But not only are these creatures unbelievably strange, they're unbelievably deadly, having evolved into killing machines of startling efficiency, with a phenomenally accelerated reproductive cycle to compensate for their extremely short life expectancy. Said reproductive cycle is the most frightening thing about these creatures: if they were ever to leave their island, they would overrun the rest of the planet's ecosystem within weeks.

As the scientists race against time to learn as much as they can about these murderous creatures and their strange and wonderful alternate ecology, the US military and its allies prepare to bomb the island out of existence. Petty scientific infighting, conflicting ecological worldviews, and the hilarious effort to make TV ratings history move the story along at a breakneck pace.

Although his character development is barely two-dimensional -- one or two characters are so unpleasant, in fact, that I was actively hoping they'd get eaten -- Fahy tells an entertaining plot-driven story. The pacing is lightning fast: so fast, in fact, that the reader tends to barely notice the somewhat improbable leaps of logic. There's too much gore for my taste, and the constant name-dropping of various brands of equipment or apparel can be annoying. And, while I'm not a scientist by any means, I expect Fahy has stretched the suspension of disbelief for this premise to its breaking point.

This isn't to say I didn't enjoy the novel. I did, very much, even through the "ewww" moments, and even though I saw the major plot twist coming a mile away. FRAGMENT is a good summer vacation novel: fast, fun, and even somewhat thought-provoking.

I believe genre novels just like this are necessary in any literate society. If a "literary" novel such as...umm, Mistry's A FINE BALANCE, let's say...is a box of Godiva dark chocolate, FRAGMENT is a Milky Way bar, and sometimes a Milky Way bar is the perfect choice. If the reader is looking for the next great American novel, he needs to keep looking, but I'd recommend this to anyone looking to kill a few hours in the airport and on the plane.

posted by avanta7 on September 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    An Engaging Can't-Put-It-Down Thriller

    I picked this book up on a whim and decided to purchase it after reading the summary. I was hooked after the prologue and literally couldn't put it down. Fahy's imagination is stellar and the scientific plausibility he lends to his ideas creates one heck of a thriller. The characters are believable and intriguing and the plot puts a new, unique twist on an older theme. This is an engaging afternoon read and would make for great discussion on the evolutionary impact mankind has had on the progression of species. I'm sure a movie couldn't do it justice, but I would definitely spend my money at the box office on this one.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thrilling, great biological concepts

    Warren Fahy's Fragment was a delight to read, action-packed, gruesomely fun and exciting in a Jurassic-Park kind of way - but I think such comparisons are a little thin. Fahy deals with concepts of evolution and the mechanics of natural biology, whereas Crichten's theme was man's tampering with nature and causing unintended catastrophic consequences. In Fragment, nature just plain kicks our butts. We know the hapless TV-show contestants don't stand a chance against exotic creatures living in conditions requiring extreme violence for survival, but even soldiers with armored vehicles and flamethrowers don't last much longer against Fahy's twistedly-imagined monstrosities.

    All this, with its typical cast of heroes and villains-who-get-their-comeuppances, was great fun, but what really intrigued me - and made me wish Fahy went farther with it, was the startlingly-original and interesting theory at the heart of this story, revealed by one of the scientist types in a series of mainland discussion groups with his peers: that an organism's life-expectancy could be directly related to its reproductive tendencies. The detail he presents, calling out species after species, from single-celled organisms up to large complex beasts, and even man, was brilliant, and while the book explored this concept a little at the end with one of the species found on the island, it was kind of a let down for me, as I expected him to go a different way with this, perhaps even making a believer out of the villains, who then might plan to harness the potential of the island in order to transform themselves into near-immortals. But alas...

    Still, a brilliant concept, and a great book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Monsters!

    Okay, first off, the cover rocks. BUT it looks reptilian, which I think is a tad deceptive because the creatures in this book are NOT reptilian. What they are is cool. And I won't give anything away, but the author has created some really unique creatures that have evolved, alone, on an isolated island for millions of years. The story is fast-paced and fun. Its a good quick summer read.

    As for complaints and why this got 4 instead of 5 stars...the characters, at times, were a tad annoying. They're supposed to be smart people, but often make really dumb choices that get themselves brutally killed. And the use of exclamation marks throughout made it feel like everyone was shouting! Like is was an episode of Speed Racer! See what it's like! It's loud in your head!

    Despite those nitpicks, this was a very cool monster story that I found enjoyable. Well done.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Evolution...on Crack

    Fragment was exactly what I hoped and expected it to be: a pulse-pounding thrill ride through this author's VERY fertile imagination. There were a few parts that dragged a little for me when the story moved away from the island, but for the most part, the book moved along quickly. I can certainly understand some of the comments about the lack of depth for characters and the book seeming more like an outline for a movie. This, however, didn't bother me in the least. I was looking for a book to entertain and frighten me, and I certainly got it with Fragment! This author's writing style had me breathless at moments because I felt like I was right there being chased by the hideous and relentless creatures on the island. The critters in this book are some of the most original and frightening I've read about in a while. The detailed descriptions and illustrations throughout the book really helped bring them to life for me. I'll tell you, if I ever encountered any of these things I think I'd die of fright at the first glimpse. As it is, when I'm outside now and hear a strange noise or an insect buzz that's unfamiliar my mind immediately goes to this book. If they ever do make a movie from this book, I hope they handle the special effects right, because it would be one heck of a scary thing to see on screen! If you're looking for a novel with an intricate plot and complicated characters, this book is not the one for you. However, if you're looking for a story to transport you to an island full of hideous creatures and heart-pounding thrills, this book is the one to take you there.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Amazing

    Amazing read, especially if you have a great imagination.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Good book.

    Recommended read.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Imaginative, Alternative evolution.

    This was a very fast paced, exciting read. From the very beginning you are pulled into the fray. Fahy makes the science seem plausible which makes the novel that much more fun. The character development is okay, but aside from one or two people the rest could have been killed off and no one would have cared, and their was quite a bit of that going on. Overall a fun read if not a bit preditable at times. Enjoy!

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