Inertia by Mark Everglade Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After discovering a conspiracy involving the increased speed of rotation for humanity’s last remaining colonial planet, a woman must seek help from her father, who never knew he had a daughter, and stop the geological effects on their planet before it plunged into darkness forever in author Mark Everglade’s “Inertia”.


The Synopsis

Gliese 581g is the last remaining colony of the human race, located twenty light years from Earth. The planet was once tidal locked to its sun, with one side draped in darkness and the other half always bright. This changed after a radical group called O.A.K. increased the planet’s rotation to bring daylight cycles to all in the name of equality. All was not well, however, as decades passed, and new generations dealt with continual floods as the newfound sunlight melted the icecaps. Entire neighborhoods went aquatic from rising sea levels.

Soon, the planet was spinning out of control, with sunrises occurring every few hours.

Ash Rivenshear works as a geophysicist at Geosturm, a company contracted by the New Order to monitor the geological crisis. As she investigates the planet’s increasing rotation, she uncovers classified data indicating that someone is intentionally manipulating it to their own ends. An attack on her life is made to cover up the intel. After surviving, she contacts her estranged father for help, Severum Rivenshear. Having no idea he had a daughter, Severum agrees to help, but the tension of his absence throughout her life builds as he works to build a relationship with her.

Ash and her father discover a research lab where Severum uncovers a connection between Geosturm and the Old Guard, a scion of the now defunct Government of Evig Natt led by Eduardo Culptos. The Old Guard seek to restore their power over the hemisphere by accelerating the planet’s rotation at breakneck speed, exacerbating the negative ecological effects, as they convince the public that the planet was better off in darkness. They’re motivated by the wealth they obtained back when light was scarce and commodified, and seek a restoration of their influence. Severum catches glimpse of a scientist being held captive at the lab during his reconnaissance, but he’s forced to back down due to being outnumbered, and unable at the age of sixty-nine to fight efficiently due to his war injuries.

Severum approaches K.O.A., an offshoot of O.A.K., for help at their commune where he obtains equipment, and cybernetic upgrades to offset the effects of aging. Eventually, he learns that most of those effects were in his mind and not actual limitations.

The Review

This was such a thoughtful and captivating sci-fi read. The author does an incredible job of balancing the larger-than-life climate and the geological crisis of this fictional planet with the much more intimate personal crisis between a father and his daughter. The imagery the author conjures up in this book really emphasizes the crisis itself, as the opening pages highlight the damage done to this world with a mixture of flood and trash hitting the protagonist as she makes her way to work. The atmosphere and tension continuously ratchet up as the mixture of atmospheric suspense and action thriller bleed into this epic sci-fi narrative. 

Yet to me, this was a narrative that was only as engaging as it was thanks to the infusion of such a profoundly meaningful character direction for both protagonists. The heartbreak as Ash struggles to connect with her absentee father while Severum tries to be there for the daughter he never knew existed was incredible to read, as it added the human element that sci-fi reads of this caliber need. The themes of family, our own mortality, and how parents are compelled to protect their children are felt so profoundly in this novel.

The Verdict

Harrowing, thought-provoking, and entertaining, author Mark Everglade’s “Inertia” is a brilliant sci-fi novel and a great followup to the author’s book “Hemispheres”. The twists and turns that this narrative takes to mirror the life or death stakes perfectly of this global dilemma, and the personal story of this father and daughter duo will have readers invested until the book’s final pages. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

I was born a simple boy, simpler than the complex people around me. I studied them to reduce all that complexity, becoming more complex myself in the process, but I didn’t so much as gain a sense of myself, as lose my own nature. Today I know myself by what I am not. I blend idea and form, the negative and the positive, the conceptual and the real, as a master spice blender creates a hot curry, grinding and grinding in proper order, always looking for balance between volatile ingredients.

Philosophers say meaning is just consistency and agreement. But I am not consistent. I am not agreeable. I reach out. My arms draw lines extending into space. Everything that extends is composed of smaller parts that also extend. At the end of all that extension there is still more extension. When I reach the end of all I reach for, I will still reach, I will still desire, because I am a fool. But I know that fool is to savant as zero is to one, each meaningless without the other, each undeserving of reverence or criticism. I accept myself, even as this paper pushes back at my pen with equal force, even as the environment pushes back at the force of my thoughts. For I can push much, much harder.

As a child, I loved sci-fi, but felt that many books had no great impact on the world. At the age of 11 I began writing alternate endings to everything from The Legend of Zelda to X-Men episodes, tiny fingers flurrying over an ancient typewriter while blaring Bach on synth. Now I have published 13 short stories in competitive arenas, including one to be published in an anthology alongside cyberpunk legends Cory Doctorow and Walter Jon Williams, and have contracted three novels with traditional-model publishers.

Today I do not create characters. I do not tell stories nor am I an author. I never even outline books; if I knew how it was going to end I wouldn’t want to write it. I create realistic characters with realistic motivations and place them into environments rife with conflict. Then I sit back and watch as the characters come alive, as they tell me their stories. Cut their words and they will bleed. The best books let you escape reality for awhile — the best writing experiences should be the same way. All great art is psychosis.

I hold a Master’s of Science in Sociological Conflict Theory, and my ancestor invented psychology in the 19th century.

I am also a proud contributor to World Cyberpunk Day.


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