Review: Hybrids by Robert J. Sawyer

  • Title: Hybrids (The Neanderthal Parallax #3)
  • Author: Robert J. Sawyer
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 394
  • ISBN: 9780765349064

Oh man, I finished the trilogy!!! Kind of sad 😦

In case you want to see em, here are my reviews for the first book (Hominids) and the second book (Humans).

These books are about our world, and an alternate universe in which Neanderthals survived and we didn’t. Basically the Neanderthals WIN when it comes to everything – they’re smarter, they controlled their population growth, they didn’t destroy the environment, there’s no crime, no war, etc…Β The trilogy focuses on Ponter Boddit, who was the first Neanderthal to accidentally come through a portal to our universe, and Mary Vaughan, the geneticst who identifies him as a true Neanderthal. They fall in love, and the portal now stays open so that our world and the Neanderthal world can learn from each other.

In this book, Ponter and Mary decide that they want to have a baby. They’ll have to use banned technology to do it, and also have to make important decisions about how they want their kid to turn out. Meanwhile, Mary’s powerful-ass boss Jock is basically a whiny little brat. He’s annoyed that the Neanderthals seem to have no flaws, and he’s jealous that they didn’t screw up their version of Earth like we did. So what does he decide to do? Wipe out the Neanderthals all over again, of course.

So, the set-up to this book was really good, but the book overall fell short. I think Sawyer kind of just got sick of writing these books, sadly. I won’t go into all the tiny details, but the plot and story was really, really rushed and the ending was kind of bizarre.

HOWEVER. I am still giving major props to this book for the science-y stuff that piqued my interest. Basically in this book, our Earth’s magnetic field is starting to collapse and the poles will eventually reverse. A scientist in this book comes up with the theory that what sparked the Great Leap Forward 40,000 years ago was Earth’s magnetic field collapsing – that that’s what gave Homo sapiens the spark of consciousness. She does more research and learns that there is research that demonstrates that we each have an electromagnetic field around our brains – that’s how our brains process information instantly, and do multiple things at once. And she’s guessing that the current magnetic field collapse might cause a “crash” in consciousness among humans now. Naturally, this sounded crazy interesting and I looked it up online. And apparently the idea that our brains / consciousness could be messed up due to Earth’s magnetic field acting up is kind of around. It’s one of those things that people think is crazy, and they’re probably right. And hell, it’s not like we could do anything about it anyways. But there’s also a theory floating around that a major change in Earth’s electromagnetic field wouldn’t mean that our consciousness would just shut off. The optimists suggest that such a thing could actually lead to another Great Leap Forward, and that we’d suddenly have an increase in brain power and intelligence. I really don’t know what the hell would actually be true, if anything, but isn’t this all just FASCINATING???

After the chapter that really delved into this, and after I looked up more about it online, I totally called the honeyman so I could tell him about it and we chatted about it. I love books that make me think, and make me want to talk to everyone about all this cool stuff.

Anyhoo, I still totally love this trilogy, and I’m glad I’ve bought the books as I read them. I want my friend Doni to read them so we can talk about all these scientific theories. And, thanks to this series, I totally want to start reading more books about physics and quantam mechanics and a bunch of other smarty-pants stuff that I know very little about.


Sarah Says: 4 stars to this book, but 5 stars to the whole trilogy!


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