This debut novel by Anne Corlett isn’t at all what I expected, and I ended up enjoying it even more because of what it really encompasses. When I hear “science fiction” and “apocalyptic,” my mind goes to a very distinct kind of book with a certain feel. While this book has the setting of both of those things, it is more about humanity and main character Jamie Allenby’s experiences in the aftermath of a virus that has wiped out most of the population and her determination to return to Earth. The loneliness that Jamie feels in the beginning of the book is palpable, and my mind was spinning with “what would I do in this situation?” thoughts. Fortunately, Jamie is not completely alone, but meeting other survivors is an experience all on its own. I felt for Jamie not only because of what is happening currently, but because of what Jamie has been through. She has experienced such incredible loss in her lifetime. I found it completely understandable and quite realistic that she would be cautious and a bit reserved toward her fellow survivors. I was glued to the pages, wondering what would happen next for Jamie as well as the other characters.
This book is beautifully written; and though it sets a leisurely pace at times, there is a thrilling twist near the end. I was very much drawn in by the author’s writing and Jamie’s story. It’s a frightening concept that the world as you know it could change so drastically so quickly. I want fellow readers to know that this isn’t the kind of story you might envision when you hear “sci-fi” and “post-apocalyptic.” Those descriptors are the backdrop for this thought-provoking novel that feels to me more like literary fiction. This book is about self-discovery and second chances. It’s about hope and love and realizing what to hold onto and knowing when to let go. It’s about one woman courageous enough to face her fears and strong enough to overcome them. Jamie survived the end of the world, but now comes the hard part: living in it.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.