My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I liked this book but I wish I could say that I loved it. The narrative voice is really relatable and humorous and I found myself constantly enjoying its worldview. Speaking of which, the world painted is great and fascinating—a lot of ingenious concepts and events—but the characters themselves felt pretty cookie-cutter to me. I found myself distanced from really investing in the protagonists’ journeys only because they felt like representations of types rather than the genuine articles.
Solid construction. Solid writing skills. Excellent sci-fi. I just found the writing style to be a little too simplistic for my taste and feel that it would’ve benefited from turning up the dial on the prose. While the world created is without any holes, the experience of reading just left me unsatisfied. I’m unable to quantify how the ending felt both very strong and kinda weak to me.
The reason I’m giving this 4 stars rather than 3 is because I did find so many of Yancey’s concepts and conclusions to be very thought provoking. I just really wish I’d had a better time with the characters and their journey through this well thought out post-apocalyptic environment. (The reason I bought the book in the first place was after reading a line about people in a global disaster choosing to steal beer for survival instead of water. It was a hilarious and relatable line but I didn’t find many more moments like that one.) This book is far from a failure, it just didn’t quite feel like a winner to me. It could be that I felt there was a lot of untapped potential to mine moments where we connect?
I don’t know… If I had the opportunity, and the presumption, to offer Yancey a recommendation it might be to take some acting and improv classes?—I think he may pick up the slippery skills to elevate his writing to flawless.