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Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite
Guardians of the Solar Shield: Earth's Climate Mirrors Under Attack 2029-2037 by Sam Bleicher is a very enjoyable novel dealing with our world in the 2030s trying to cope with climate change and its effect on the planet. This is not a doom-and-gloom story but rather intelligent problem-solving with the background of human stupidity, greed, intrigue, and political opportunism. The United Nations’ Solar Shield Project launches 480 reflecting mirrors into Earth's orbit to reduce the solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. So far, so good, but then regional interests and rivalries come into play, and a struggle over the mirrors’ alignment ensues to move the mirrors’ shadows away from some areas that don’t like to be in the shade. The plot spans the whole globe, including the US, China, and Russia. Some of the characters don’t shy away from murder and arson, while the good guys use every trick in their counterintelligence toolkit to save the project. The blossoming romance between reluctant lovers is the icing on the cake in this fast-moving and enjoyable novel.
I found Guardians of the Solar Shield very refreshing, quite different from the usual depressing post-apocalyptic stories that dwell on suffering and dying. There is hope because the adversaries are evenly matched in their technical skills, and the reader gets to learn a lot about computer programming and hacking. We also have a glimpse into how huge international projects are organized, implemented, and controlled. I liked the main characters, especially Kelly, the Irish redhead, with her passion, honesty, integrity, and courage. The pacing of the novel steadily increases throughout, never tedious for a second. The many italicized introspective musings of the characters give authenticity to these life-like people, and the plot stays believable all through the novel, never stretching the reader’s credulity too far. I highly recommend Sam Bleicher’s Guardians of the Solar Shield to readers who are tired of doom-and-gloom and want to see some hope, despite the stupidity all around us.