Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Fireworks is a novel from a few years ago by the increasingly popular James A. Moore. I’ve had several of his books buried in my TBR pile, but this is the first one I’ve read. The others will receive bumps upward after this.

Collier, Georgia, a small town in the southern part of the state, is generally unremarkable. It’s one minor claim to distinction is the annual Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, which attracts a few tourists. One such celebration, however, attracts a more memorable visitor, as a large alien spacecraft crashes into the town’s adjacent lake at the end of the fireworks display. The resulting shockwave and heat given off by the crash kills nearly 150 of the town’s residents, and causes a bit (probably not as much as would have happened) panic.

The real problem for the townspeople comes quickly after the crash, when they are cut off from the outside world, prevented from leaving, and taken over by a group of black-uniformed soldiers, who claim to be representatives of the government, and soon demonstrate their willingness to kill any local who disagrees with their orders. Their primary mission is to cover-up the crash, and the people of Collier begin to understand that no one who is aware of the crash can be allowed to live.

The spaceship itself is a MacGuffin in this story. The novel is about the town’s residents coping with a military takeover. The book is presented in three main sections, each told from the viewpoint of a different character, the first being Frank, the town’s chief of police, then Karen, a young local woman, and finally Jack, one of the occupying soldiers.

There are several things introduced in the novel that are not dealt with, and it begs for a sequel. For instance, a teenage boy manages to enter the downed spacecraft, but we never learn what happens to him inside. In fact, little of the nature of the spacecraft is learned.

The cover of the book is filled with unfortunate comparisons to Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, unfortunate in the fact they denigrate King to the favor of this book. While there are superficial resemblances to Dreamcatcher, I don’t think the connection is as strong as most seem to believe, and can’t see what’s to be gained by criticizing King.

Anyway, I strongly recommend Fireworks, and I enjoyed it enough that you will see other James A Moore novels reviewed here in the future.

1 comment:

Craig Clarke said...

Even if I didn't already avoid James A. Moore's work, the comparison to King would have turned me off instantly: I couldn't finish Dreamcatcher.