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The story is gripping, full of suspense, beautifully written (and narrated) and makes you think. Reminded me of The Road. One of the best books I've downloaded.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Far North has a strong female protagonist who is never overshadowed by any male characters or caught up in romantic subplots. The strength of this novel is the first-person narrator, Makepeace. She's tough, practical, and capable of being violent when she has to be, but never without purpose or remorse. She has a very straightforward way of telling her story -- she doesn't seem to dwell on things or spend too much time doubting herself or bemoaning her often tragic circumstances. But the author (through her) still describes her environment in all its vast, frozen majesty, and also describes the way society fell apart, the way decent people act very badly, and, gradually, things that happened before Makepeace was left alone, before everyone she knew died, which come back to haunt her years later. It's a stark but textured novel. None of the characters are saints, and they're mostly sinners, but no one is purely evil. Makepeace makes a lot of decisions, some good and some bad, and then lives with them.
This story of a lone survivor in an empty land follows the trend of many recent post-apocalyptic novels, in that the exact nature of the apocalypse and how civilization fell isn't specified, though there have obviously been climactic changes, and there are hints of a big collapse precipitated by shortages, wars, and other disasters.
The ending was neither happy nor sad. When civilization falls, you're not realistically going to see some bright new world rising out of the ashes any time soon. At best, you'll see a gleam of hope for future generations, and that's what you get here.
Yelena Schmulenson gives perfect voice to the hard-bitten but soft at times Makepeace. I liked her hint of an accent, which made me think Canadian, although I'm pretty sure it's not.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful