Tuesday, 20 August 2013

North A 2011 America pacifica

A dystopian novel where the dystopia is fully imagined and the plot has holes that need attention.

A generation from now the new ice age has made America uninhabitable. We learn, through memories and story telling, how civil behaviour collapsed as cold and hunger became commonplace. Visionaries fled to a new island home, and slowly others joined them. We meet this new society some twenty years after  it was founded, and it's not a great place to be poor. The teenage protagonist knows little about how things got to be as they are, and cares little about changing them. She's focused on the rent, dinner, staying safe.

I found the descriptions of how a marginal society gets by to be compelling. There is filth and hunger which reflect every refugee camp and shanty town you've ever read about, and turned your eyes away from. And the privileged classes - mostly the Mayflower first boaters - hold their privilege by deception and firepower, which also reflects every ailing society you've ever read about and turned away from. The plot, which at first had me gripped when a main character goes missing, lost me for the final third of the book. The final chapter? Meh.

I'd read another novel by this author though, and she seems to have set up a sequel.

First line:
The trouble started when the woman with the shaking hands came to the apartment.

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Hi, thanks for commenting. It's great to know other avid readers. I hope you'll also share what you're currently reading?