Sunday, August 31, 2014

Exodus 2022 / Kenneth G. Bennett

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Science Fiction

Approximate word count:

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Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the new eco sci-fi thriller, Exodus 2022, and the young adult novels, The Gaia Wars and Battle for Cascadia.


Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. 

Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs. 

What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns. 

With the help of his girlfriend—the woman he loves and dreams of marrying—Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance—and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity—they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s newfound understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain.


This was a mixed bag for me. The opening scene was gripping. Joe and his girlfriend were very believable, and I was rooting for them both from the get go. The premise in regard to the Orca whales was fascinating, and the fantasy-elements that placed me within the whale were a lot of fun. For this reader, the story had a natural ending in the sea, the second exodus seemed drawn out and unnecessary. I already understood the premise and didn’t feel like I needed it repeated.

The antagonist—a billionaire arms dealer--was the element that gave me the mixed feelings. Throughout the story I couldn’t understand his motive, when it was revealed at the end I wasn’t convinced. Also, I struggled to believe that this man would have the resources he did, and he gets involved in some pretty gruesome violence that seemed gratuitous to me—I skipped past those sections once I understood what was going on, and I lost no context. So, I wonder, was it necessary to show the gruesome details. Then again, I am squeamish, so it’s maybe just me.

Mr. Bennett’s writing style is easy on the eye. He head hops the point of view quite regularly. In some instances this didn’t bother me, but often it took me out of the character and therefore out of the story. I think the novel would be stronger without the omniscient-POV hooks at the end of chapters.

Format/Typo Issues:

Very clean copy.

Rating: **** Four stars


Kenneth G. Bennett said...


Thank you for the thoughtful review and for including Exodus 2022 on the blog. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Kenneth G. Bennett

Unknown said...

You're welcome, Kenneth. Thanks for dropping by.