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I selected this book as my cli-fi choice for the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019. Not my usual read as I don't like dystopian fiction, but it was only 244 pages so should be a quick read, and it was under £2. But I enjoyed the book very much, the writing is very good and the way the chapters are set out suits the fractured life and times. My only comment is the price on here today (5th August 2019) is £17.09. That's a ridiculous amount to expect anyone to pay for a digital download.
I thought this was going to be a desolate, gloomy and depressing book, which in the most part it was. But thrown in there is a good shovelful of hope and a faith in human nature. Love it. love it, love it.
I've read a lot of apocalypse books, beginning many years ago in junior high school with Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon. In the last ten years I've acquired a collection of them, over 200 at last count. Many of them are older books that I simply didn't know about until I began looking for books in the genre. More current books present a dilemma, in that there are so many of them, not just stand alone books but series of 3, 5 or more, there are entire sub-genres like zombie apocalypse or supernatural-tinged apocalypse that don't interest me at all, and the sheer numbers make it all but impossible to tell a good book from something someone is cranking out in their basement, In short, there's a lot of crap out there, and I've become very careful about what I pay for . There are good books being written now, but they can get lost amid the trash. I bought this book because a "prequel" to it, Above the Ether, was offered as a $2 bargain ebook. That book was very deliberately paced, had many different characters and points of view, and didn't surprise me until the end. I felt it was good enough to take a chance on this book, so I bought a hardcover, which is still my preference. This book contains some of the same elements as the prequel, such as the deliberate pace, a sense of hopelessness, and vivid descriptions of the broken environment, but it has a single narrator--he's a writer and he writes stories and takes pictures for a small newspaper that's printed in what's left of his city. He has a past that haunts and wounds him, and that is slowly revealed, but it's his routine as a "reporter" that leads him out of his own prison and the prison of the city. It's a very quiet book, though there are violent things that happen. I was two months into Coronavisus quarantine when I read it, and somewhat alarmed by parallels between my current life and the narrators. Mostly I found him very sympathetic, tragic, and ultimately, the key to what happens to the city toward the end of the book. I don't want to spoil it, though it's hinted at in the blurbs on the dust jacket. If I have a negative criticism it would be that parts of the resolution are a little too giddy and seem exaggerated and abrupt, but the epilogue settles everything down again. The writing is spare and elegant, almost dreamlike, as the narrator, who doesn't like to speak out loud and doesn't always know when he has, finds his voice again. I think this is one of the best apocalypse books I've read in many years. It doesn't lecture about environmental issues it simply describes what has happened. and why. Highly recommended.
First I liked this book because the author managed to capture the 'foggy' mindset that I and many of my friends have had since Covid started -- is it Monday? is it still 2020? He really nailed it. Second I liked the idea that people, once they become "unmoored" from our busy lives anchored by shopping and working at 'industrial/service industry' jobs, are basically quite peaceful and can live with very few physical needs. Third -- what I liked best was the ending, which was, for me, quite the surprise. It is an optimistic ending!!! But I won't spoil it for you by spelling it out.
Not sure how I came upon this, but the review mentioned a prequel so I read that first. This is one of the best written novels in this genre that I've read in a long while. I've given it 4 stars because some of the processes and the science involved are too accelerated and compressed to be believable. All the bits are all too believable, but having so many things happening in a shirt time frame is not.
Although it’s not said, this is a book that could easily happen with climate change. The 1st part of the book is a bit sad but still draws you in. The characters are interesting. There is eventually some hope of not for everyone. I would recommend this book.