Goodreads – Seveneves

Author – Neal Stephenson

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . – Goodreads Synopsis

Neal Stephenson is an author that I have seen around a lot, and I have always wanted to try out some of his works. Seveneves is the introduction to his works for me, and one of the few novels that I picked up without knowing anything about beforehand. I read the back cover at a Barnes and Noble and went “Yup!” I’ll take this one.


The premise of Seveneves is one of the most captivating ones that I have experienced in moon_explosion_by_melonhead11820v2a long while. I almost forgot how much that I loved Sci-Fi with all of the Fantasy that I have been reading until I started Seveneves. The premise is pretty much: What would happen to the human race if the moon suddenly exploded into multiple chunks, and the debris rained down on Earth? The rest is planning out the survival of the humans, and how to keep them from going extinct.


One of my favorite characters from this novel is actually who I call the villain: JBF, the American president. This character stuck out to me not because I loved her, but because I hated her. (Which coincidentally made me love her later on…) This character reminds me of the old days when I was reading the Harry Potter novels as they came out and Umbridge was introduced. doloresumbridge_wb_f5_umbridgesmiling_still_080615_land There are just those antagonists/villains where they are not essentially evil in the traditional sense, but they act so vehemently against the protagonists that you just hate them with every fiber of your being. Every action these characters take, and after every word they speak, you just cringe with anger at how they could be doing what they are doing. When a character makes me feel like this, I know they are written well. (Think of Joffrey from Game of Thrones too.) Other than JBF, most of the characters did not really leave that much of an impression on me.

The Science

One of my favorite aspects of The Martian was this it had this hard scifi math that was800px-proper_motion super fun to follow along with. Similarly, Seveneves has a lot of scientific principles in it that remain accurate. To some, I could see how this would be boring and hard to follow along with, but to a super nerd like me…I loved it. Reading a novel that feels like it had to have had a lot of research done beforehand is very satisfying to me, and it makes me feel like I am learning something new while I read.

After The First 2/3

The most common feedback that I see for Seveneves, is how people felt the last third of the novel caught them off guard, and how they did not like that. There is a lot of validity to the feedback, as the last part of the book feels like a completely new story. The characters we were with for the first 600 pages are suddenly gone and replaced with new characters. I did feel like it slowed down until we got up towards the finale, but it was worth slogging through.

My Takeaway

I love it when I find a book that I always seem to be thinking about when I am not reading it. There were many times that I was at work and than a random thought about what could happen next in Seveneves would pop into my head. The ending left me with some questions, and will leave me thinking about it for quite some time. I cannot wait to read more of Neal Stephenson!




  1. I can’t say I’ve ever read one of Stephenson’s novels, but I love it when you have a character that you just love to hate. Those sort of characters that are so infuriating you keep reading just to see their downfall haha.
    The final third sounds quite frustrating. I find that introducing new characters so late in the story just opens up a can of plot holes that never seem to be fully tied up by the end.
    Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much. The premise does sound really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey there Chaz, as always truly amazing review. I loved this one in particular because I am obsessed with space (the universe) and Aliens. I know this is not about Aliens but it seems to be about concepts that might happen in the universe. I am amazed by your capability of using each word in a captivating way! I might read it sometime. Keep on going!
    Gioia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review. I had just heard about this on a podcast and added it to my reading list. Your thoughts on this have made me want to bump it up the list a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m currently reading Cryptonomicon by the same author. It alternately follows a code breaker in WWII, a Marine at the same time, and a descendant of the code breaker getting involved in encryption and cryptocurrency in the 90s. It’s certainly similar to Seveneves in that it’s heavily researched and he doesn’t hold back on showing the math. I am enjoying the WWII chapters more than the 90s ones, but it sounds like you would really like this book based on your enjoyment of Seveneves!


  5. This definitely sounds like something I would like. I have heard students (really cool students) talk about it all semester (I think the copies “made the rounds.”), but now that I have read an actual review and pretty much know what to expect, I think I’ll order it. Tanks for the fine review.


  6. Neal Stephenson’s last few books have sounded interesting, but I’ve shied away from his work since reading Snow Crash years ago. Lots of people loved it and highly recommended it to me, but part way through I lost total interest in it (a large part of that was that I felt like I was being lectured at). Did you find that at all in Seveneves?


  7. Although I am loath to add more recommendations to his long list, you might want to investigate his historical sequence ‘The Baroque Cycle’ beginning with ‘Quicksilver’ – it is a sort of prequel to ‘Cryptonomicon’, which is also excellent. So many books…..


  8. Great review, Chaz. I’ve had this book for a few months now and haven’t quite gotten around to reading it. Perhaps I’ll pull it out of its place in my TBR pile! I’ll keep your advice about the last third in mind as I read.


  9. I’ve got Snow Crash on my list of 75 for my own challenge. I’ve looked forward to checking out some Neal Stephenson, so I hope that that book is as good as this one sounds.


  10. Neal Stephenson always gets a read from me. Big chunky meaty thoughtful novels. I may not agree with all of his premises or settings, but he puts so much into them that it’s worth taking a look.

    Anathem was a recent one I read once and listened to twice.

    Liked by 1 person

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