2019 Book Review #2: Severance by Ling Ma
In an effort to keep my reading life organized beyond Goodreads, I am keeping a detailed rating of books this year! Last year I read 50 books (love the round number) but I only reviewed a handful of them. Hopefully joining Cannonball Read 11 (my second attempt) and publishing reviews will help me stay on top of my reading habits.
Some stats (I love stats):
Finished Jan. 6, 2019, took three days to read
3 Stars on Goodreads, but I would rate 3.5
Genre: Post-Apocalypse (that has to be it’s own genre now)
Rating 2/2 for 2019 overall, 1/1 for Post-Apocalypse 2019
I love a good post apocalypse novel, even though I am totally afraid of a massive disaster, like a plague, or meteor, or worldwide economic meltdown. This is why reading these types of novels is fun for me. Severance was actually a plague based disaster novel, with a little bit of cult obsession and passive zombies added in to keep things interesting.
The novel focuses on Candace, a disillusioned New Yorker who somehow manages to survive the “fever” that swept across the globe. We switch back and forth between Candace's life right before the fever when she had a mid-level publishing job, and directly after the fever when she is traveling across the country with an interesting group of survivors. Throughout the book it is clear that Candace has secrets, and we want to know them all.
I enjoyed reading this book. I expected a post-apocalyptic zombie novel, but I got something different. At times the novel was more of a commentary on our consumeristic, productivity driven society, and how none of that means anything in the end. The book reminded me of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, one of my all time favorite books. However, the more I think about this book, the more I realize I probably won't remember it in a few months from now. Severance is a quick read with some interesting ideas, but not something I would tell my friends to rush out and read asap.