Book Review: The Human Race by O. C. Heaton

The Human Race by O. C. Heaton

This is the Leeswammes’ Blog Officially Ugliest Book as voted by my readers. And I can tell you, I didn’t get used to it while reading the book, either. In fact, whenever I took a break from reading, I put the book down on its front cover so I didn’t have to look at it.

The book wasn’t a bad read. It was less in-your-face than the front cover might suggest. Part of it takes place in Iceland which I enjoyed a lot but overall, it was a bit too long-winded for me.

I read this book as part of my TBR Slash challenge which stated that I could stop reading at page 75 if I had had enough – I’m happy to say I read the whole book!

The Human Race: What it is about

Uma Jakobsdóttir has the secret to cheap travel that would save the world from a lot of CO2 output. She lives in Iceland when she continues the work of her deceased father. Ethan Rae is one of Britain’s richest investors and he is asked to finance her venture to distribute it all over the world.

There is one problem: in the wrong hands this would be a dangerous weapon. Enter the wrong hands: Samuel Reynolds III, heir to an airline in financial distress. He stops at nothing to get hold of this new technology.

Soon, Uma and Ethan’s lives are in danger as the battle is fought in Iceland and New York.

The Human Race: What I thought

I enjoyed reading this book overall, especially the scenes in Iceland, as I’ve been there myself and I’m fascinated by the country. In fact, I loved the scenes in the Blue Lagoon! They were the best part of the book for me.

There was a mist hanging over the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon and it was night, so the sky was dark. Not much could be seen and then a body floats towards Ethan in the water. I’m not revealing much here, just that it was very suspenseful.

Some of the book was rather technical: there were explanations of physics and environmental politics, as well as computer hacking. I didn’t mind these, but they took too much of the story, I thought. But the same is true for the rest of the book: it was a bit too long for me.

The Blue Lagoon scenes really made the book interesting for me, as well as the scenes in the interior of the country, but otherwise, I found this book just-interesting-enough to finish.

Rating: 3.5/5

I got this book: from the author in a giveaway

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 440

First published: 2009

Genre: science fiction, contemporary fiction


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

16 Responses to Book Review: The Human Race by O. C. Heaton

  1. Alex says:

    Interesting, with a cover like that I expected it to be a non-fiction. I wonder if that cover was especially chosen to make us look twice…

  2. Care says:

    I, too, formed an instant assumption that this was nonfiction. Only upon reading your review did I realize it is must be of the thriller genre?

  3. Nadine Nys says:

    The title suggested non-fiction, but the cover (ooh, so ugly) said definitely fiction to me. I wouldn’t have guessed this was a thriller, though. Although it sounds rather good to me, I am not going to read this book (that cover really is too upsettingly ugly). Thanks for the review, Judith.

  4. Aths says:

    That cover is creepy! But the book sounds great! I’m glad that you liked it, so maybe I’ll look out for it.

  5. Usually I don´t worry too much about covers, especially as I buy many books second-hand, meaning I have no idea which cover I´ll get anyway, but I really find this one off-putting.

  6. OC Heaton says:

    Hi Judith – just a short note to thank you for your review. I’m sorry you didn’t change your mind about the cover but very pleased you enjoyed the book, especially Iceland. I have to say it was the most interesting part of the book to write and I was lucky enough to take two trips out there for research purposes which gave me a great feeling for the island, its geology, unpredictable weather patterns and off course the people.

    Interestingly I have been doing a few book clubs recently – all women one’s – and one of my first questions now is about the cover. Opinion is always split evenly. Some hate it, whilst others love it! Go figure.

    I noticed some comments above that your readers thought it might be non-fiction because of the cover. That is interesting. Maybe its a combination of the cover and the name? I know when I wrote it that I wanted to merge fact with fiction to such an extent that the reader didn’t know (or didn’t care) when one stopped and the other started. It was partly driven by the need to have the teleportation as credible as possible but I’m also a huge Michael Crichton fan and I think he achieves that balance in most of his novels.

    Any way thanks one again and you’ll be pleased to hear the sequel is now in editing with the publisher who is busy thinking of a new name and, of course, designing the book cover. Watch this space!
    Happy reading.
    OC Heaton

    • Leeswammes says:

      Hi OC, Thanks for your comment. Iceland is such an amazing place and that shines through in your book.

      I’m sorry the cover isn’t much appreciated by the readers of my blog! At least it stands out! I think maybe it’s the globe that make people think it’s non-fiction: being about the earth, global. And then the title, of course. I think the merge of fact with fiction worked well, to the extend that I now probably “know” things that are not actually true. 🙂

      Good luck with your next book – looking forward to it (incl. the cover).

  7. RFW says:

    Wow – the cover would have turned me away, but with your review, I may give it a try – with a brownbag over to hide the picture 🙂

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