It’s my turn on the BlogTour This Fragile Earth by Susannah Wise.
About the Author
Susannah Wise is an actor and writer who grew up in London and the Midlands. The death of her father in 2015 was the catalyst for THIS FRAGILE EARTH. His preoccupation with astronomy and the beauty of the night sky formed the jumping-off point for the story. Susannah studied at the Faber Academy, graduating in September 2018, during which time she wrote a second, more peculiar novel. Both books have been longlisted for the Mslexia prize. She lives in London with her partner and son.
About the book
Not long from now, in a recognisable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They’ve only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they’re surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones or pay for anything, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.
But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones – vital to the world, ever since the bees all died – are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.
A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city…
Signy reminded me of the early version of Tempe Brennan in Bones. Very logical, intelligent and blunt to the point of rude. She also spends the entirety of the book talking to those around her with a certain aloofness including those closest to her. Her conversations with her son are more like intellectual discourse between two peers.
Her world is suddenly thrown into disarray when the technology appears to fail completely, which leaves chaos and panic in its stead. Society isn’t really set-up for failure and the humans aren’t at all prepared for a pre-technology on the spot solution.
Sometimes some scenes seemed superfluous and some moments out of character, a bit like filling holes with some random stuff. This seemed like a contradiction to the premise as a whole. On the plus side the futuristic element felt easy to elate too. Nothing too outlandish and possibilities that could be in our near future.
It’s a dystopian sci-fi come technology premise – a possible glimpse of the future. A society completely dependent on gadgets, electricity, gas, drones and the Big Brother surveillance. It perhaps has a message about relying completely on technology in life, because if it fails there isn’t anything to fall back on. Cue survival mode and preppers, even if it’s just filling the pantry with long life milk, tinned food and bottled water.