A.G. Riddle’s Extinction Trials begins with a man inviting leading industrial leaders to a private meeting in which he poses an intriguing premise. It is not a matter of whether humankind will become extinct, but a matter of when. He asks for their help in conducting trials to find a successful means of preserving the specie.
With that we are launched into a world that appears to be in the near future where vehicles are self-driving and robots assist in tasks. This is the world in which our lead character, Owen, works as a fire fighter. He answers the call to an apartment building fire and the robots that were meant to assist are turning on him. Before he is knocked unconscious, he sees a world that appears to be on fire and collapsing.
When Owen come to, it is from a container that appears to have kept him in suspended animation for years. He is soon joined by a handful of other newly awakened survivors and the game begins. “Game” is an appropriate term, for Owen and the others must solve clues to escape and survive on a planet that has drastically changed.
When I read to this point in the story, I was puzzled as to what could have happened, was this a simulation? Had the world actually come to a cataclysmic end? Riddle reveals more, little by little as the reader turns the pages, which they are likely to do without stopping.
As I read on, I was doubting Riddle could end this story to my satisfaction. There was too much to be explained. But, I was wrong. He devised a very clever ending.
I recommend the Extinction Game as a very satisfying read.