Saturday, March 21
Book Review: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Pages: EBook 314
The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%.
Civilization has crumbled.
A band of actors and musicians, called the Travelling Symphony, move through the territories of a changed world, performing concerts and Shakespeare at the settlements that have formed. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and it threatens the world every hopeful survivor has tried to rebuild.
Moving backward and forward in time, from the glittering years just before the collapse to the strange and altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven charts the unexpected twists of fate that connect six people: celebrated actor Arthur Leander; Jeevan, a bystander warned about the flu just in time; Arthur's first wife, Miranda; Arthur's oldest friend, Clark; Kirsten, an actress with the Travelling Symphony; and the mysterious and self-proclaimed "prophet."
My Rating: 10/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was incredibly well written, with elegant writing and a well told story and flow that carried on throughout the book.
The writing alone pulled me into this book, and would have kept me invested but the characters were also incredibly well done. In fact, the one character that truly captured me and pulled me into this book, what caused the turning point for a great read, to I can't put this book down, was Jeevan. There was the one scene which was rather humours, just as the flu started to break out, and during that scene something about him grabbed my attention and after that, I had to know what would happened to him. Other characters also became favourites of mine, including Clark - but why he's my favourite and the one scene that I enjoyed is a bit of a spoiler, but it was a well written moment in the book and one of the ones that stick out as memorable.
I enjoyed the moments during the aftermath of the plague, but I also enjoyed Arthur's story. I was a little unsure about his history, but eventually, I found I did enjoy that aspect of the book. I think that in the end, it helped set up a lot of important plot pieces for later in the book.
There were a few aspects of the book I liked less, and a few pieces I guessed, such as information about the prophet. And while I think he was an important character in the book, I felt his development anf story was the weakest of all the characters. There were some interesting bits with him, but he had the least amount of appeal and structure around him as the other characters had. I also had questions on how the post-flu world was managing and why they were doing certain things over others, but that was also part of the fun of reading the book. Overall this was an incredibly enjoyable book - and it is a book I'd highly recommend.
Would I recommend it to read: Yes! Read this book. I didn't think I'd like the book, but trust me when I say, the description of the book does not do it justice, it was a fantastic read and well worth picking up. It's not the usual science fiction apocalyptic story either, so if you're veering away because of that, try the book out, it isn't at all what I expected.
What to read next: MaddAddam Trilogy
Challenges: 100+ Books, 2015 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge, Ultimate Canadian Book Challenge