I am delighted to share my review today for This Fragile Earth by Susannah Wise. I really enjoyed this dystopian book set in the near distant future.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my fabulous copy of this book.
Not long from now, in a recognizable 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, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, 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…
Beginning in London in the not too distant future machinery starts to fail. Everything is machine-based from water supplies and electricity to cars, computers, doctors and everything that makes everyday life easier.
Realising this may not be a glitch Signy with her son Jed decide to make the journey to her mother’s house. Pollution is something that is more advanced than today, special glasses to protect eyes, safe drinking water is just the very basics that have to be taken into consideration. Transport is down, no cars, trams, buses just an old heavy bike is all that is available to Signy as she makes her journey. Leaving London behind.
This is a very atmospheric book and one that involves futuristic science. The author has used the extinction of bees as being one of the important factors in her futuristic world, this is coupled with a computer system that controls everything from planting and growing of food, medical advice and treatment, pretty much everything.
As Signy and Jed make their journey, the author gradually fills in what has happened and what could potentially be happening as things change. It is a chance to pose questions, delve into living conditions, explore the science of this changing world.
As much as I really enjoyed this story and I did find it addictive, I did find that Jed did start to grate on my nerves. A child who is incredibly clever and one that doesn’t always have a sense of respect. While Signy does her best, I could feel her frustrations with the constant questions and felt the pressure building.
This is a book that I found interesting, there were some of the science things that I didn’t understand, but sort of got the gist of. There is a moralistic thread in this story as we look at how today’s environment is standing on a precipice. It is this that makes this sort of near-future story more believable. Advances in technology, reliance on machinery and gadgets all help to add an authentic feel.
This was a really good read, it is one for those who like atmospheric, slower-paced intriguing and thought-provoking reads. A dystopian novel set in the near future and one I would recommend reading.
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.
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
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