Editorial Review: Flat Earth: Book One of the Flat Earth Trilogy by Brent Golembiewski
One night can change everything, and in just one night the meteors will fall from the sky. The life of the young farm boy James will change forever, as he discovers himself...and what lies beyond the wall to the west.
In mid-century small-town America, there isn’t much to think about except for local gossip, baseball, and farming – but certainly not what lies beyond the wall in the west. Told by their government and schools that the wall is there to protect them, the townsfolk don’t ask questions. This huge wall to the west of town is an accepted part of life, the metal structure goes on and on over the horizon. The locals accept and fear the wall, some of them are afraid to even approach it. James isn’t afraid though - he’s curious.
During a meteor shower like no one had ever seen before, a huge metal object thunders to earth on his family wheat farm and James is set on a path very different to the quiet one he had imagined for himself all his life.
When James arrives at school the day after the meteor shower and Carol, his long-term girlfriend, doesn’t seem to remember their date of the previous night which included the terrifying experience of being narrowly missed by falling chunks of space rock – he figures something strange is going on. Deciding to investigate further, James discovers the fallen metallic object on the furthest reaches of this family farm and delves straight into investigating the strange thing and where it could have come from.
Fighting side by side with comrades from worlds away, James needs to fight against his own chip-installed beliefs - as well as against replicants – to save Earth.
Blending sci-fi and dystopia with home-town 1950’s Americana, Golembiewski manages to create an odd amalgamation of conspiracy interlaced with an innate hope. The way he writes is truly engaging, with characters who immediately draw you in with their genuine likability and good humor.
An undoubtedly fun read, Golembiewski’s work is lively and entertaining. For a Young Adult novel, the world is remarkably complex, with social and scientific discussion bridging the gap between the real world and that of fiction. Flat Earth is an excellent launch for the series and should find some long-term fans in both the Young Adult genre as well as more broadly in sci-fi.
A well-built world complete with great characters and an engaging storyline, Golembiewski’s Flat Earth is an entertaining out of this world adventure.