How silly am I? Reading a book about monster tsunamis while house hunting for a place on the south coast of NSW. An area that recently suffered enormous floods – from rain, thankfully, not a tsunami.
Supertide is the story of a tsunami that hits the east coast of the USA, but it is also about two graduate students who attempt to predict future earthquakes likely to cause the next natural disaster. The use of modern technology developed by their professor, but the theories contrast with established methods and not all the experts agree with their predictions. Will they prove their theories before the lager tsunamis hit and be able to warn people living within 100 miles (or more) of the coastline.?
At first I thought the beginning was a bit slow especially having read many of Steve Freeman books that are full of action. However, that gradual build up parallels the tension as development of the tsunamis and the rescue attempts occur.
It is brilliantly written.
While following the work of the scientists, every now and then the story switches to people deciding on whether to stay or flee or those caught up in the disaster. It’s like watching an action movie – going from one character’s experience to the next with suspense building every page.
I don’t know how accurate the scientific side of this story is and I don’t care. As the author says in his end note his goal was to entertain rather than inform and he has taken creative liberties with tectonic theory. However, it is obvious he has still undertaken considerable research.
The characters feel real. I particularly like the main character Macy who battled on with her work while experiencing her own heartaches.
There is an obvious understanding about the nature of people and how they act during a crisis – either experiencing the dangers or taking advantage of the situation for their own ends. But, there are also examples on how people are willing to help complete strangers in an emergency. It is and an excellent study of human nature.
In the final chapters I was pleased to read a tribute to those who survive disasters and those who do rescue and relief work.
Great reading escapism. My rating 5*
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