There are times when a book or a movie about a natural disaster just fails to click with the reader/movie goer.
Remember Deep Impact? It was a movie back from 1998 about a asteroid hitting the earth. The previews showed it hitting the earth. The movie poster showed it hitting the earth. But instead, the two-hour movie spent the while time preparing for the impact, and the survival of people after it. It didn’t make sense to have so much happen before the big event when we all knew it was coming.
As well, Deep Impact suffered from the fact that there were too many stories going on. For a movie with so much star power attached to it (Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, etc. ), it was a great disappointment to me.
Ever since then, I’ve tried to take disaster stories with a grain of salt.
The book, Category 7, now falls into the Deep Impact territory. (Before I continue, be aware there’s spoilers ahead.)
The book was written by Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson. Evans is a weather journalist in New York, and Jameson is a writer.
First off, we know the hurricane is going to reach a category 7. It’s the title of the frickin’ book. But they take until about two-thirds of the way through before the hurricane reaches there.
Secondly, many of the plot lines end tidely because most of the main characters die. That’s the solution for all the problems. For example, one of the main characters, Elle, is a spy for the president, but ends up wanting to go to the competition. But she also has a love-hate relationship with the president’s son. So how does it end? She dies.
There’s also a problem of her getting sick that was never explained at all, and didn’t do anything to add to the plot at all.
There were also too many stories. I won’t get into them here, but when there’s too much, it takes away from everything else. The conspiracy takes up way too much time.
They also just throw in 9/11 references for the heck of it, and then never go back to revisit why it makes someone like they are. Ie- the main character, Kate Sherman, mentions near the end of the book that she doesn’t fly because she knew someone that died in the World Trade Center attacks. But at no point before that was there ever a mention of her not wanting to fly, and there was no hesitation when she finally got into a helicopter. No explanations of nerves or anything.
Finally, the main problem has to do with the storm. There’s a few stories here and there about the destruction it causes, but for the most part, we don’t really see any one deal with the consequences of the hurricane or the destruction it causes. I wanted a natural disaster book, not a book that was a disaster.