“Fast-paced action adventure with a speculative scientific edge…this debut thriller effectively combines bone-chomping, blood-spurting action-adventure mayhem with intriguing (if improbable) scientific speculation.”—Library Journal
“A perfect read for poolside this summer…Fragment closely follows the patented Michael Crichton style.”—Booklist
“Showcases the talents of a new novelist with a flair for forward-charging narrative. The details seem brilliantly researched, and the observations could be those of a sharp-minded student of biology.”—Dallas Morning News
Fragmentby Warren Fahy
Aboard a long-range research vessel, in the vast reaches of the South Pacific, the cast and crew of the reality show Sealife believe they have found a ratings bonanza. For a director dying for drama, a distress call from Henders Island—a mere blip on any radar—might be just the ticket. Until the first scientist sets foot on Henders—and the
Aboard a long-range research vessel, in the vast reaches of the South Pacific, the cast and crew of the reality show Sealife believe they have found a ratings bonanza. For a director dying for drama, a distress call from Henders Island—a mere blip on any radar—might be just the ticket. Until the first scientist sets foot on Henders—and the ultimate test of survival begins.
For when they reach the island’s shores, the scientists are utterly unprepared for what they find—creatures unlike any ever recorded in natural history. This is not a lost world frozen in time; this is Earth as it might have looked after evolving on a separate path for half a billion years—a fragment of a lost continent, with an ecosystem that could topple ours like a house of cards.
“Fast-paced action adventure with a speculative scientific edge…this debut thriller effectively combines bone-chomping, blood-spurting action-adventure mayhem with intriguing (if improbable) scientific speculation.”—Library Journal
Fahy's imaginative debut puts a fresh spin on the survival-of-prehistoric-beasts theme popularized by Jurassic Park.A When members of the cable reality show SeaLife, aboard a ship in the South Pacific, respond to a distress beacon from Henders Island, several of the show's scientists wind up slaughtered by bizarre animals on the remote island. In response, the U.S. government blockades Henders Island to contain the serious biothreat its unique fauna could pose to humanity. The ship's botanist, Nell Duckworth, joins the investigative team, which quickly finds that arthropods on the island have evolved into sophisticated and ferocious life forms. Particularly memorable and frightening are the creatures Nell dubs "spigers," which have eight legs and are "twice the size of a Bengal tiger." Exciting debates on topics like the role of sexual reproduction in the development of life on Earth provide a sound scientific background. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The cast and crew of a TV reality series get more than they bargained for when they land on a remote, unexplored Pacific island. Within minutes, they are attacked by lethal superpredators unknown to science, creatures that appear to have evolved in a completely different direction from all other life on Earth. Is the island's ecosystem threatened by human contact? Actually, it's more likely that these creatures will bring catastrophe to the rest of the world. Though hardly subtle in plot or characterization, this debut thriller effectively combines bone-chomping, blood-spurting action-adventure mayhem with intriguing (if improbable) scientific speculation. The subject matter and the author's acknowledgments may inspire some readers to explore the late Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life and other nonfiction titles about the early evolution of life and the many bizarre shapes it has taken. Suitable for anyone who likes fast-paced action adventure with a speculative scientific edge.
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Read an Excerpt
"Captain, Mister Grafton is attempting to put a man ashore, sir."
"Which man, Mister Eaton?"
Three hundred yards off the island's sheer wall, H.M.S. Retribution rolled on a ten foot swell setting away from the shore. The corvette was hove to, her gray sails billowing in opposite directions to hold her position on the sea as the sailing master kept an eye on a growing bank of cloud to the north.
Watching from the decks in silence, some of the men were praying as a boat approached the cliff. Lit pale orange by the setting sun, the palisade was bisected by a blue shadowed crevasse that streaked seven hundred feet up its face.
The Retribution was a captured French ship previously called the Atrios. For the past ten months, her crew had been relentlessly hunting H.M.S. Bounty. While the British admiralty did not object to stealing ships from other navies, they had a long memory for any ship that had been stolen from theirs. It had been five years since the mutineers had absconded with the Bounty, and still the hunt continued.
Lieutenant Eaton steadied the captain's telescope and twisted the brass drawtube to focus the image: nine men were positioning the rowboat under the crack in the cliff. Eaton noticed that the seaman reaching up toward the fissure wore a scarlet cap. "It looks like Frears, Captain," he reported.
The dark crack started about fifteen feet above the bottom of the swell and zigzagged hundreds of feet across the face of jagged rock like a bolt of lightning. The British sailors had nearly circled the two-mile-wide island before finding this one chink in its armor.
Though the captain insisted that they thoroughly investigate all islands for signs of the Bounty's crew, a more pressing matter concerned the men of the Retribution now. After five weeks with no rain, they were praying for freshwater, not signs of mutineers. As they pretended to attend their duties, 317 men stole furtive, hopeful looks at the landing party.
The boat rose and fell in the spray as the nine men staved off the cliff with oars. At the top of one swell the man wearing the red cap grabbed the bottom edge of the fissure: he dangled there as the boat receded.
"He's got a purchase, Captain!"
A tentative cheer went up from the crew.
Eaton saw the men in the boat hurling small barrels up to Frears. "Sir, the men are throwing him some barrecoes to fill!"
"Providence has smiled on us, Captain," said Mister Dunn, the ruddy chaplain, who had taken passage aboard Retribution on his way to Australia. "We were surely meant to find this island! Else, why would the Lord have put it here, so far away from everything?"
"Aye, Mister Dunn. Keep a close counsel with the Lord," replied the captain as he slitted his eyes and watched the boat. "How's our man, Mister Eaton?"
"He's gone in." After an agonizing length of time, Eaton saw the scarlet capped man finally emerge from the shadow. "Frears's signaling . . . He's found freshwater, Captain! He's throwing down the barrecoe!"
Eaton looked at the captain wearily, then smiled as a cheer broke over the decks.
The captain cracked a smile. "Ready four landing boats for provisioning, Mister Eaton. Let's rig a ladder and fill our barrels."
"It's Providence, Captain," cried the chaplain over the answering cheer of the men. " 'Tis the good Lord who led us here!"
Eaton put the spyglass to his eye and saw Frears toss another small barrel from the fissure into the sea. The men in the longboat hauled it alongside.
"He's thrown down another!" Eaton shouted.
The men cheered again. They were now moving about and laughing as barrels were hauled up from the hold.
"The Lord keeps us." The chaplain nodded on the ample cushion of fat under his chin.
The captain smiled in the chaplain's direction, knowing that he'd had the shock of his life these past months observing life aboard a working ship in the King's navy.
With a face as freckled as the Milky Way, Captain Ambrose Spencer Henders resembled a redheaded Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar, to his crew. "An island this size without breakers, birds, or seals," he grumbled. He stared at the faint colors swirled in the island's cliff. Some bands of color seemed to glitter as if with gold in the last light of the setting sun. After sounding all around the island they had found no place to anchor, and that fact alone baffled him. "What do you make of this island, Mister Eaton?"
"Aye, it's strange," Eaton said, lowering the glass—but a glimpse of Frears falling to his knees at the edge of the crevasse made him raise it hastily to his eye. Through the spyglass he found Frears kneeling in the crack and saw him drop what appeared to be the copper funnel he was using to fill the small kegs. The funnel skittered down the rock face into the water.
A red flash appeared at the sailor's back. Red jaws seemed to lunge from the twilight and close over Frears's chest and head from each side, jerking him backwards.
Faint shouts drifted over the waves, echoing off the cliff.
"Eh, what is it?"
"I'm not sure, sir!"
Eaton tried to steady the scope as the deck rolled. Between waves he saw another man in the longboat catch hold of the lip of the fissure and scramble up into the shadow of the crack.
"They've sent another man up!"
Another swell blocked his view. A moment later, another rolled under the ship. As the deck rose, Eaton barely caught the image of the second man leaping out of the crevasse into the sea.
"He's jumped out, sir, next to the boat!"
"What in blazes is going on, Mister Eaton?" Captain Henders lifted a midshipman's scope to his eye.
"The men are hauling him into the boat. They're coming back, sir, with some haste!" Eaton lowered the glass, still staring at the fissure, now doubting what he had seen.
"Is Frears safe, then?"
"I don't believe so, Captain," Eaton replied.
"What's the matter?"
The lieutenant shook his head.
Captain Henders watched the men in the boat row in great lunges back to the ship. The man who had jumped into the water was propped up against the transom, seemingly stricken by some fit as his mates struggled to subdue him. "Tell me what you saw, Mister Eaton," he ordered.
"I don't know, sir."
The captain lowered the scope and gave his first officer a hard look.
The men in the boat shouted as they drew near the Retribution.
The captain turned to the chaplain. "What say you, Mister Dunn?"
From the crack in the cliff face came a rising and falling howl like a wolf or a whale, and Mister Dunn's ruddy jowls paled as the ungodly voice devolved into what sounded like the gooing and spluttering of some giant baby. Then it shrieked a riot of piercing notes like a broken calliope.
The men stared at the cliff in stunned silence.
Mister Grafton shouted from the approaching boat: "Captain Henders!"
"What is it, man?"
"The Devil Hisself!"
The captain looked at his first officer, who was not a man given to superstition.
Eaton nodded grimly. "Aye, Captain."
The voice from the crack splintered as more unearthly voices joined it in a chorus of insanity.
"We should leave this place, Captain," urged Mister Dunn. " 'Tis clear no one was meant to find it—else, why would the Lord have put it here, so far away from everything?"
Captain Henders stared distractedly at his chaplain, then said, "Mister Graves, hoist the boat and make sail, due east!" Then he turned to all his officers. "Chart the island. But make no mention of water or what we have found here today. God forbid we give a soul any reason to seek this place."
The hideous gibberish shrieking from the crack in the island continued.
"Aye, Captain!" his officers answered, ashen-faced.
As the men scrambled from the boat, the captain asked, "Mister Grafton, what has become of Mister Frears?"
"He's been et by monsters, sor!"
Captain Henders paled under his freckles. "Master gunner, place a full broadside on that crevice, double shot, round and grape, if you please! As you're ready, sir!"
The master gunner acknowledged him from the waist of the ship. "Aye, sir!"
Retribution fired a parting shot into the crevasse on lances of fire and smoke as she came about, blasting the cliffs like a castle's ramparts.
Captain Ambrose Spencer Henders dipped a kite feather quill into the porcelain inkwell on his desk and stared down at the blank page of his logbook. The oil lamp swung like a pendulum, moving the shadow of the quill across the paper as he paused, weighing what to write.
The Trident cut the deep water with her single-hulled bow and turned three wakes with her trimaran stern. She resembled a sleek spacecraft leaving three white rocket trails across a blue universe. The storm clouds that had driven her south for three weeks had vanished overnight. The sea reflected a spotless dome of scorching blue sky.
The 182-foot exploration vessel was approaching the center of 36 million square miles of empty ocean that stretched from the equator to Antarctica—a void that globes and maps usually took advantage of to stack the words "South Pacific Ocean."
Chartered for the cable reality show SeaLife, the Trident comfortably quartered forty passengers. Now an "on camera" crew of ten who pretended to run the ship, fourteen professionals who really ran the ship, six scientists, and eight production staffers, along with a handsome bull terrier named Copepod, rounded out her manifest.
SeaLife was chronicling the Trident's yearlong around-the-world odyssey, which promised to encounter the most exotic and remote places on Earth. In its first four weekly episodes the cast of fresh young scientists and hip young crew had explored the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island, launching SeaLife to number two in the cable ratings. After the last three weeks at sea, however, enduring back-to-back storms, the show was foundering.
The ship's botanist, Nell Duckworth, glared at her reflection in the port window of the Trident's bridge, repositioning her Mets cap. Like all the other scientists chosen for the show, Nell was in her late twenties. She had just turned twenty nine seven days ago, and had celebrated over the chemical-and-mint-scented bowl of a marine toilet. She had lost weight, since she hadn't been able to keep food down for the last ten days. Her motion sickness had subsided only when the last of the massive storms had passed last night, leaving a cleansed blue sea and sky this morning. So far, bad weather, sunblock, and her trusty Mets cap had protected her fair complexion from any radical new pigmentation events. But she was not checking her reflection for wrinkles, weight loss, or freckles. Instead, all she noticed was the look of despair glaring back at her from the glass.
Nell wore taupe knee length cargo jeans, a gray T-shirt, and plenty of SPF24 sunblock slathered on her bare arms and face. Her beat up white Adidas sneakers annoyed the producers since Adidas was not one of the show's sponsors, but she had stubbornly refused to trade them in.
She gazed south through the window, and the crushing disappointment she was trying not to think about descended over her again. Due to weather delays and low ratings, they were bypassing the island that lay just beyond that horizon—bypassing the only reason Nell had tried out for this show in the first place.
For the past few hours, she had been trying not to remind the men on the bridge of the fact that they were closer than all but a handful of people had ever come to the place she had studied and theorized about for over nine years.
Instead of heading one day south and landing, they were heading west to Pitcairn Island, where the descendants of the Bounty's mutineers had apparently been planning a party for them.
Nell gritted her teeth and caught her reflection scowling back at her. She turned and looked out the stern window.
She saw the mini sub resting under a crane on the ship's center pontoon. Underwater viewing ports were built into the port and starboard pontoons—Nell's favorite lunch spots, where she had seen occasional blue-water fish like tuna, marlin, and sunfish drafting the ship's wake.
The Trident boasted a state-of-the-art television production studio and satellite communication station; its own desalinization plant, which produced three thousand gallons of freshwater daily; a working oceanographic lab with research grade microscopes and a wide spectrum of laboratory instruments; even a movie theater. But it was much ado about nothing, she thought. The show's scientific premise had been nothing but window dressing, as the cynic in her had chided her from the start.
On the poop deck below, she watched the ship's marine biologist, Andy Beasley, trying to teach the weather-beaten crew a lesson in sea life.
Andrew Beasley was a gangly, narrow-shouldered scientist with a mop of blond hair and thick framed tortoise-shell glasses. His long, birdlike face often displayed an optimistic smile.
Raised by his beloved but alcoholic Aunt Althea in New Orleans, the gentle young scientist had grown up surrounded by aquariums, for he lived over his aunt's seafood restaurant. Any specimens that came under his study were automatically spared the kettle.
He had gone on to live out Althea's dream of becoming a marine biologist, e-mailing her every day from the moment he left home for college to the day he accepted his first research position.
Aunt Althea had passed away three months ago. After surviving Hurricane Katrina, she had succumbed to pancreatic cancer, leaving Andy more alone than he had thought possible after feeling so terribly alone all his life.
One month after her funeral, he had received a letter inviting him to audition for SeaLife. Without telling him, Althea had sent his curriculum vitae and a photo to the show's producers after reading an article about the casting call for marine biologists. Andy had visited his aunt's grave to put flowers on it, flown to New York, and auditioned. As if it were Aunt Althea's last wish being granted, he had won one of the highly contested berths aboard the Trident.
Andy usually wore bright clashing colors that gave him a slightly clownish appearance. It also made him a natural target for sarcasm. He was as blindly optimistic and as easily crushed as a puppy—a combination that drew out a maternal impulse in Nell that was surprising to her.
Andy fidgeted with the wireless mike pinned to his skinny yellow leather tie. He wore a Lacoste blue-white-orange-yellow-purple-and-green-striped shirt, which resembled Fruit Stripe gum. Paired with the vertically striped shirt, he wore Tommy Hilfiger boardshorts with horizontal blue, green, pink, red, orange, and yellow stripes. To set it all off, he wore green size-11 high-top sneakers.
Meet the Author
Warren Fahy has been a bookseller, a statistical analyst, and managing editor of a video database, where he wrote hundreds of movie reviews for a nationally syndicated column. He is currently the lead writer for Wowwee, generating creative content for their line of advanced robotic toys. He lives in San Diego, California. Delacorte will publish his next novel in 2010.
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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.
"Fragment" grabbed me from the beginning and the more I read, the more I wanted to read. Warren Fahy blends science with fiction to weave a story that compelled me to continue on. The characters are real and the story one I think many have pondered. The story begins in 1791, but quickly comes forward to present day as a reality television show. Nell tried out for the show just to get to the island. Little did Nell know, that while the island is a scientist's dream, it is also a scientist's nightmare. The entire novel takes place in 28 days, and sometimes Mr. Fahy tells his story minute by minute, or hour by hour. I felt like I was there - I was on the boat; on the island; I knew the characters. Most of the island creatures terrified me, but there is one.... If you like books that keep you engrossed, books that make you think, you will enjoy "Fragment." Come, take a journey on the Trident. Come meet the scientists and listen to their story.
Warren Fahy: Fragment, reviewed by Joel Hacker 353 pp. 3 pp. Delacorte Press. www.randomhouse.com. Hardback. US $25. 9780553817530. paper Before I write anything else, I would like to say that I loved this book. That in itself poses some unique problems for me as a reviewer. J. Michael Straczynski once wrote, through the mouthpiece of a character of course, that art is never improved by compliment. Reading that, it struck me as a revelation, and as a truth with a capital 'T'. Not only do I agree with that statement, but also feel there is the additional danger inherent in reviewing something we've enjoyed of simply illustrating a long list of virtues with no real eye towards constructive criticism. I have the additional problem of being a huge fan of science fiction. And while Fragment is more speculative science fiction than 'hard' sf, it still falls comfortably into that familiar niche for me. Taking all that into account though, Fragment, does a great job at being what it is. It has hallmarks of good science fiction of any kind, that being a certain logic to this new and different world it represents, an internally consistency to how the world works. Perhaps that is even more important in such an imaginative genre than in fiction set in a more real-world environment. On this point, as on so many others, Fragment doesn't fail to deliver. Fragment deals with the discovery of an Hender's Island, more properly a lost fragment of an ancient super-continent, on which life has continued to evolve in a drastically different direction from the rest of the world for millions of years. Life very different from that with which we are familiar, and vastly more dangerous and aggressive. This discovery is made by an ill-fated crew filming a reality show about oceanographic scientific investigation. I'll admit I took perverse pleasure in what I took to be poking fun at the entire genre of reality shows, and many of the reality show stars' gruesome fates. With the obvious lethality of the indigenous life now apparent, Hender's Island is quickly barricaded by the U.S. Armed Forces, and a full scale scientific investigation is launched to determine what exactly to do about this new and alien ecosystem. There's some nifty bits for the hard sf fans out there about experimental NASA designed technology used in this investigation, though the life on the island ultimately proves to be far too dangerous to deal with. Just before a final solution is implemented to protect the rest of our planet's ecosystem, a startling discovery is made: intelligent life has managed to evolve and survive, with an albeit limited population, in this hazardous environment. The final parts of the novel deal with the scientists attempting to save this unique creatures dubbed Henders. The novel is put together in, well, fragments written in the third-person centering on different characters. We're given the time of day each fragment takes place, and they very in length from a few sentences to more traditional chapters. I feel like the format really helps drive the story forward and keep the reader engaged, especially early on when there are still a couple of B stories without obvious connections, other than ideological ones, to the A story. From the beginning, Fragment reminded me of Michael Chrichton, a connection I'm not alone in making from the looks of other reviews I've read. Its present day setting and a scientific basis for this speculativ
If you are a Micheal Crichton fan and are looking for someone new that fills that void of your love for his writing, than look no further. Warren fahy's Fragment is exactly what you sre looking for! This book will be perfect for someone who loved jurassic park and the lost world.
I found this book very interesting reading. It's a little out there as far as subject matter is concerned, and the pictures catch you off guard as you are reading (a little creepy); however, I enjoyed it very much and cannot wait until the author publishes his next book.
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!
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.
I was drawn to this book by the comparisons to Jurassic Park, and figured the price was right at 6 bucks to download it to my nook and check it out. I will let you know that this is no Jurassic Park, and I don't mean that negatively. The story is interesting but at times lacking. So it's not a huge home run, but at the same time I did find myself wanting to know what happens and got through with the book in a week. The story has it "more than predictable" moments, but again at times that's ok because you want that satisfaction of seeing people getting what they deserve(good or bad). There is another reviewer who complained about the brand name dropping - and I do agree that it is unnecessary. For example, the character isn't wearing "sneakers" but "Adidas 3TX performance sneakers". Which is not a huge deal, but you'll find these mini-plugs throughout the story and possibly distracting. I liked the escapism of the story, please be ready to suspend belief. The story does grip you, even when it breaks away from the good stuff. I do have a major complaint and that is the open ending. The author definitely finished the book with the door wide open to a sequel. My problem is I dont think there's enough for a second book. If that's the case, and you're the type of reader frustrated by unanswered questions, then be warned!! That should not stop you from getting this book, especially if you're on the fence about it. It's a good read and the author does well in taking facts and lending it to possible fantasy.
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.
On board the ship Trident are the crew of the reality TV show SeaLife and several scientists who were promised a year of sort of Darwin like research into the exotic ocean and island life on the planet in exchange for filming the contacts. So far, the voyage into the South pacific has been filled with ennui until a beacon help signal comes from nearby Henders Island. The vessel heads there to assist those in need.----------- However, what greets the seafarers is a shocker. There is flora and fauna like nothing ever seen anywhere else on the planet. As several scientists are killed by the intelligent animal life, botanist Nell Duckworth realizes what has happened on this remote island; evolution took a different path approximately a half billion years ago and miraculously survived. As the US Navy blockades the island and quarantines the Trident fearing anything escaping could prove hazardous to the rest of the world's ecosystem, the natives prove sentient and resourceful as they seek off the island.--------------------- Though an obvious link to Jurassic Park, FRAGMENT takes a different scientific spin using evolution as the basis of what lives on the island. Warren Fahy provides an exciting story line yet loads his narrative with scientific terminology and theories without dumbing it down. Readers will appreciate this super science fiction thriller that explains the evolution of reproduction and the possibility of such an island like Henders existing with the unique marsupial population of Australia that superseded mammals as the dominant species. Science and fiction rarely blend together better than this winning thriller.------------- Harriet Klausner
Let me start off by saying I read for pleasure pure and simple, so plausibility is not a factor for me when reading a novel. I love a good adventure story and two of my favorites are Amazonia by James Rollins and The Ice Limit by the duo of Preston & Child, so when I picked up Fragment I was not expecting it to give those two a challenge for the top spot but man did it ever. The book is about the reality TV show Sealife based on the ocean adventures of a research vessel named the Trident. SeaLife is on the verge of being canceled by the network,so the crew was out searching for something significant that would ensure the Sealife and its team of scientists another year on the air. When they receive a distress signal coming from mysterious island they believe that they just found their ticket to securing their spot on the air. Henders Island is largely inaccessible being surrounded by a 700 ft vertical wall and it is so far from the normal shipping lanes and sea traffic that very few people have ever laid eyes upon it. When the team of scientists finally approach the island half of the them are attacked and killed in a blink of the eye by an unknown assailant all while broad casting live on the air. The killings are considered a hoax even by some of the shows own network staff and fellow scientists claiming that the Henders Island catastrophe was an elaborate setup just looking for ratings. Henders Island turns out not to be a hoax. The island has sat unnoticed to all of the world for hundreds of millions of years, no human contact to alter its evolutionary path creating some of the most dangerous creatures to ever walk the planet. Fearing the devastating effects these animals would have on the planet Henders Island is taken over by order of the president, the island and the staff of Sealife are quarantined until a team of scientists and military personnel can arrive to explore it. Fragment is a combination of scientific exploration and adventure sure to please fans of Michael Crichton and James Rollins. For a debut novel Warren Fahy has thrown his name in with some of the best in this genre. Fragment is filled with great action and adventure, great characters and fabulous creatures and I can not wait for Warren Fahy to pen another gem like Fragment.
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.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys scientific thrillers. It presents a very interesting picture of what might have happened if other life forms evolved on earth. Those who enjoyed Jurassic Park would enjoy this book.
This book is exciting and a wonderful escape. The author surprised me on every page and managed to maintain the same level of interest until the end. I look forward to Mr. Fahy's next book because I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.
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.
We’re just here to collect data! In the acknowledgments at the end of this book there’s a nod to Michael Crichton, which put a big smile on my face, as no book I have read since Jurassic Park has captivated or filled me with wonder as that book did, until this one. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a copy, or imitation of Jurassic Park. At most it’s a similar theme, but the ideas are carried forward in a new and exciting manner. It’s a very smart way to turn earth into an alien planet and then explore it. I love this book. It’s fun, exciting, imaginative and very quickly paced, just like Crichton’s best. I read it fast, in under two days. I had such a blast with it, I can’t wait to get my mitts on the sequel (Pandemonium).
Let me first say that I actually read about half of this book. I am educated and an avid reader. I was looking forward to reading this novel but continued to run into page after page, after page of scientific jargon which would require a Ph.D. in genetics to understand. The author did a good job with his homework, but didn't translate the information into layman's terms. In fact, I normally love reading a book with good research inserted. This was ridiculous though. I once skipped through over thirty pages of scientific dialogue to get back to the plot. Then had to do it again later in the book. The characters weren't well defined and could have been interchangeable in a lot of cases. I could see what was coming WAY before something happened. PLEASE, DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. ~ DO
Do not bother
Amazing read, especially if you have a great imagination.
Makes me think of Crichton, and wish I was reading one of his books instead.
This was a selection for the book club I'm in. This is one of the worst books I've ever read. It reads like a novelization of a really (REALLY) bad, cheesy Sci-Fi movie. Like Sharktopus, Megashark or Catagory 7. The beginning of the book was very formulaic. Introduce new character, devote 1.5 pages to said character's back story. And then the action! While there was lots of action, it was timed so bad, so over the top, so predictable that it became exceedingly boring. The main criteria of our group when encountering a new author that we any of us have not read before is "would you pick up another book by this same author?" My answer is a resounding NO! I hope I would pick up a book by an author that can write.
This book kept me involved right from the start. I had a hard time putting it down, even for a minute. The vivid creatures and development of the plot were very detailed and despite the subject, not as outlandish and unbelieveable as I thought. I really felt like this could be a real event. The characters introduced in the end were a little more outlandish, but they were so lovable that you connect with them anyway. A great story in all, and most certainly one I'll read again in the future.
Fragment by Warren Fahy is a story written in prose set in during the present day on a small island in the southern Pacific Ocean. Nell, the main character, is a botanist for the reality show sea life. When the show lands on a small island she witnesses every single one of her friends get killed and eaten by creatures unknown to modern day science. When other scientists arrive along with military personal to quarantine the island they discover that the island inhabitants could kill all other life on Earth. The president orders the island to be destroyed Nell and a small group of scientist head out to collect specimens they discover the islands most dangerous inhabitant that could also be its savior. The stories plot makes you want to keep reading it all day. It has everything you are looking for in a good science fiction novel. Great books to read over the summer or while you are on vacation.
I read this book in one day. Couldn't put it down. It is great escapist reading with a wild scientific base. If you liked Jurassic Park you will love this book.
Fragment was a hard book to put down. Exciting new species that seem totally plausible in a story that keeps you in suspense till the end.