Daily Review: The Omega Chronicles by Mark Carnelley
October 26, 2019
A pilot who loves to fly, the last man on Earth, trials, and tribulations and bourbon-spiked spirals into madness.
A giant cosmic dust cloud is first noticed in 1962, its discovery kept a secret so as not to cause worldwide panic, finally hits the Earth fifty-five years later with catastrophic devastation that wipes life from the face of the planet.
One man, Colton Lee Steele, miraculously survives whilst stationed in Antarctica and thus starts his struggle to at first comprehend the enormity of his predicament and then plans and travels to the Northwest Territories to finally find a place he can call home.
It is a harsh environment he finds himself in but through perseverance and true grit, he discovers an inner strength that will guide him through his final years, and along the way discover that life will always find a way.
By CW Hawes
The zombie apocalypse aside, what would life be like if humanity suddenly disappeared? And everything else for that matter. That’s the question Mark Carnelley answers in The Omega Chronicles.
A cosmic dust cloud pretty much wipes out all life on earth — plant, animal, human. Because he was on bottled oxygen due to an accident, Cole survives. The question that faces him when he wakes up is, now what?
Certainly, despair would be the easy way out and at times Cole briefly entertains the notion to end it. But life is hardwired to survive and Cole sets about to do so.
This book is no action-packed thriller. It is in the great tradition of “Earth Abides.” You won’t find zombies, or space aliens, or even triffids. This book is about what it means to live when you are the only one alive.
Without diving deep into philosophy, Carnelley gives us a philosophy of life — a philosophy of what can make us have tranquility here and now, free from all the baubles and gadgets and so-called pleasures of “civilized” life.
Take a few hours to read The Omega Chronicles. Then spend the next months and years meditating on its simple message.
By Travis B
What a journey! Spiral up and around, from the very bottom of the world to the top. Ice land to inferno blast. The Omega Chronicles, by Mark Carnelley, is a fast-paced adventure like no other I’ve read. A pilot who loves to fly, the last man on Earth, trials, and tribulations and bourbon-spiked spirals into madness—and rebirths. The author packs a lifespan into his opus, which I had an absolute BLAST reading. I absolutely WILL read this book again and I cannot say that for most books I read.
Many parts of this novel piqued my sense of enjoyment. I will name a few. There are numerous thrills during many flights, dashes to get, where simply, the main character wants to be. And the expertise in detailing these flights, just what is needed to solidify impeccable credibility, well, I knew the author was a pilot.
The author’s style is interesting, straightforward, with a very catchy perspective to boot. All of that and more kept me glued to this book. In fact, I found The Omega Chronicles very hard to put down and finished reading it in only a few short days.
It rolls like this. The main character, Colt, a pilot who is just a plain-old human—blunt, to-the-point and clever—finds himself *lucky,* or from another point of view, an entirely valid one, *unlucky.* He is, the last man alive on Earth. EVERYTHING ELSE IS DEAD. There remains, though, lots of heat, lots of gritty yellow stardust, and…
I fell in love with the memories Colt often shared during his trek up and around the planet. Here’s a couple of my favorites…
One. As a child, Colt saves up for a $25 aerial joyride. The pilot, however, doesn’t like Colt’s know-it-all attitude, or seemingly any kids for that matter, and while up in the air the cheeky man, who is not such the ace he’d thought himself to be, has finally had enough. He lets go of the controls and sets the plane into an incipient spin, then says to Colt, “Well, what do you do now, smart-ass?” And what did Colt do? I’ll let you find out. It’s good.
Two. I enjoyed it when the author described what Colt liked to do later in life. It was “better than drugs,” he’d said. Colt loved to take his small plane high into the sky and cut off the engines. Then he’d dive and let the air speeding though the propeller, restart the plane. And just before the plane crashed, at about a hundred feet above land… Again, yep, read it for yourself to find out. Very thrilling.
There was a myriad of other things I enjoyed, too. When Colt visited family various times during his trek, what was left of them. And the madness Colt sunk into for a time. And ultimately, his salvation. His new life and acceptance of what had become of planet Earth. Oh, and I absolutely loved the numerous quotes within this novel. Enlightening. I highlighted many.
But, and I must stamp my foot down, my favorite part about this book was the epilogue. And I still and again, won’t elaborate to spoil anything. Read it for yourself. It’s worth it. But don’t peek, don’t sneak ahead. Because you are in for a real Canadian-sized treat!
Before I wrap this up (I had told my wife I was going to write a shorter, pithier review but here I go again… Just too many things I liked), I’d like to add one more small detail to this review. This book fits well with me. As many of you know, I love The Martian, by Andy Weir, movie and book. I love the very concept of being the last person alive, trapped in solitude on a distant planet or moon. In this case, Earth.
It was a gratifying journey alongside Colt as he attempted to escape, not only for survival but to evade the pursuant insanity that came with sheer and utter loneliness.
The Omega Chronicles, by Mark Carnelley, gets FIVE STARS. I loved this novel on so many levels. It is officially on my TBRA (that’s to-be-read-AGAIN) list!
Please click HERE to find The Omega Chronicles on Amazon.