Sunday, 29 May 2011

Tales of Woe Part II

America Pacifica - Anna North
Hachette - Little, Brown
Available : August 2011

It just so happens that I have read two post apocalyptic stories in a row and while their tales of woe are similar the overall message has been quite different....

The first, in Steven's world was due to a super/natural disaster opposed to Anna's self imposed version where the world has been thrown into an Ice Age caused by human abuse of the environment - Global cooling rather than warming. I must say I find this idea far more frightening than the prior, as it represents a future we could share.

The story is told from the perspective of 18 yr old Darcy Pern but make no mistake this is NOT a YA title as the themes are quite confronting including prostitution, drug use, suicide and poverty to name a few. Darcy and her Mum share a very close and sheltered relationship which is quite beautiful in its own personal way, living close to the outskirts of the poor and depressing island civilisation called America Pacifica where most bar an elite few must struggle for survival with low level jobs and meagre food supplies consisting almost entirely of reconstituted Jellyfish and seaweed.

The main theme and one that I found most interesting was the greed of humanity and our inability to adapt and move with nature, instead clinging to the things that are familiar and comfortable - keeping them from creating a society where the majority could be happy and provided for rather than the few.

This is a gritty debut novel that despite the violence, sadness and all together hopelessness I experienced reading it I couldn't put it down. There is also the untapped story of those who were left or chose to stay on the mainland to adapt to the new subzero climate - I hope that story comes soon....

No comments:

Post a Comment