The third issue of Shiny New Books came out on Monday. Now it’s time for me to highlight some of my reviews that appear therein and point you in their direction. As it ended up, I didn’t write as many reviews for this edition, but I shall still split them into a few posts in between others. Today it’s the turn of two novels of speculative fiction:
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This novel by Canadian author Mandel has been one of the big hyped titles of the autumn – a timely vision of a post-pandemic world – not due to ebola though but a new flu strain which spreads like wildfire.
It ties in the lives of a travelling troupe of musicians and actors twenty years after, focusing on a handful of characters who all experienced touchstone moments in the past.
While it does include the usual post-disaster tropes of tribe formation and those seeking to take advantage, it is all done very elegantly and with a clear vision that seems true to how I would imagine things happening in this scary future.
I loved this book! (10/10)
Read my full review here.
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Desperate Games by Pierre Boulle
This one is a reprint in a new translation by David Carter from Hesperus.
First published in 1971, this novel is a philosophical satire on science, politics and psychology of the masses, in which the scientists stage a peaceful coup to make a new world order and find that eliminating hunger and cancer etc doesn’t make its people happy. Their answer is what could be considered as the prototype of The Hunger Games.
Whilst not a work of great literature, this novel is BIG on ideas and a fascinating curiosity that makes it an essential addition to the dystopian canon!
Read my full review here. (7.5/10)
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Source: Publishers – Thank you to both.
To explore further on Amazon, please click below:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, 2014, Picador, hardback, 336 pages.
Desperate Games by Pierre Boulle, (1971) – Hesperus, 2014, paperback, 206 pages.