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Book Review: I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

Book Review: I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz RishiI Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 22nd October 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Seven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.

When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.

For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.

With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from I Hope You Get This Message, but it was probably something different to what I got. I think what I wanted from this book was something heart warming that takes place during the end of the world, and instead the characters all leave their families once they learn what is happening.

I Hope You Get This Message jumps around three points of view, and I only really found one of them interesting. I think two of the POVs could have been combined to make the book drag less. It’s a big book, and there wasn’t enough going on to justify that high of a page count.

I really enjoyed the point of view of the third character, who didn’t leave his mother when she needed him. He’s also gay, and went on a couple of dates with another guy, so I appreciated that representation! He was honestly the only interesting part of the whole book, as I feel like his story was the most fleshed out and I actually cared about what he was going through.

I really feel like this book should have either been more action-packed or more heartfelt (or both!) considering it’s covering the run up to the apocalypse and the planet potentially being wiped out. I wouldn’t recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for an interesting sci-fi novel, unfortunately!

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London ShahThe Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
Series:
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 29th October 2019
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean's surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father's been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he's innocent, and all she's interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she's picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she'll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.

I am soooo disappointed with The Light at the Bottom of the World! I adore apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction, and with the current Climate Crisis, this book should have been exciting and topical and basically just something I would love. Unfortunately, my only take away from this book is that it is SUCH a boring book.

The setting of underwater London had so much potential, and I was very excited to dive in (lol) to this world and see how the country had changed. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough description, and the characters just flitted from one place to another without really talking about it. I didn’t get a feel for the setting at all, and to be honest I got a bit confused about exactly where everyone was.

The characters also had ideas that came out of nowhere, with no build up or suspense, and it was as though I, as the reader, was supposed to be following along the whole time. Except I was unable to follow along because the writing was so chaotic and disjointed.

In addition to all of that, nothing really happened, and for some reason the story has been dragged into a duology. I feel like this could have been a strong standalone if the writing had been tightened up, but The Light at the Bottom of the World ended up being a whole lot of missed potential.

Drop by Drop by Morgan Llywelyn

Drop by Drop by Morgan LlywelynDrop by Drop by Morgan Llywelyn
Series: Drop by Drop #1
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 26th June 2018
Publisher: Tor
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-half-stars

In this first book in the Step By Step trilogy, global catastrophe occurs as all plastic mysteriously liquefies. All the small components making many technologies possible―Navigation systems, communications, medical equipment―fail.

In Sycamore River, citizens find their lives disrupted as everything they've depended on melts around them, with sometimes fatal results. All they can rely upon is themselves.

And this is only the beginning . . .

To be completely honest with you, this book was shit. I am so disappointed because the premise had such promise. A world in which all the plastic starts to melt? Yaaaassss. Computers would break down. Cars would fall apart. There would be no more television or phones, and if you didn’t have a completely metal radio you’d be screwed. But instead of focusing on society breaking down and something actually exciting, the author chose to focus on a small town that could no longer use pens.

Everything about this book disappointed me. I’m a huge fan of the apocalyptic genre and I thought this was going to be great. Unfortunately, it was boring, somewhat underdeveloped, and the characters were dull and unlikeable. I obviously won’t be carrying on with the series.

 

Mini Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Mini Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Road by Cormac McCarthy
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: May 4, 2007
Publisher: Picador
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. This is the profoundly moving story of their journey. The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, 'each the other's world entire', are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

Since this is a mini review, you might be able to guess how I felt about The Road. I tend to have no problem reviewing books that I loved, and also books that I was enraged by, but books that were so boring that I wanted to tear my eyes out are so difficult to review.

The Road is a post-apocalyptic novel, and it’s really highly rated. Really, really highly. Whenever there’s a list of post-apocalyptic books you HAVE to read, The Road is pretty much always in the top three. It’s about a father and his son who cross the United States (I can’t remember where they were going, but whatever. USA) that has been torn apart by the apocalypse. While they’re travelling down this Road (capital R for emphasis), they get into a lot of trouble and it’s all pretty dark and bleak. Continue reading

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Water Knife by Paolo BacigalupiThe Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 26th May 2015
Publisher: Brown Book Group UK
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents.  With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

The Water Knife presents a grim image of a world in which water, necessary for life to exist, has become a commodity needed by many and owned by few. The world that Bacigalupi paints such a vivid image of is one in which people are being forced to live in vast, poverty stricken deserts; they are dependent on the few private companies and government organisations left to provide them with water. The United States of America no longer exists; instead, the US has split off into several ‘states’ that run more like private companies. California exists as the most powerful of these new states, and Texas, with no water of its own, is unable to sustain life – refugees from the state of Texas are considered to be lower-class citizens. If this is all sounding familiar, it should be. The real world parallels are on point throughout the book.

Continue reading