The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an unexpectedly pleasant mix of backwoods good-ole-boys with all their country poverty and an SF-tainted goldrush.
In most respect, the novel is entirely about the characters, their hopes and fears, their sense of belonging, or their need to find justice or even exploit the hell out of people's weaknesses. It's about being a fish out of water. Of coming home to a place that doesn't want you any longer. It's also about the complete and ugly transformation of your home once the sharks smell blood.
And it's also something of a gritty origin story for people with superpowers. But that takes a serious back seat to everything else. Because let's face it, economics rules everything. The rest of us are just trying to survive.
There's a lot of familiar things in this novel. It could very well be a contemporary fiction piece if it wasn't for the SFnal elements that drive the force of everyone's motivations. And the idea of a super-natural meteorite bringing tons of change isn't exactly new, either, but when we put them together, it's a pretty fascinating social commentary and thriller in its own right.
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