Macmillan Audio. Jan. 2022. 12:20 hrs. ISBN 9781250841148. $26.99. SF
The earth is dying and has become a new wild west frontier after being left behind by everyone rich and privileged enough to migrate to one of the space colonies. In this near-future reality, countless lives and stories intertwine and break apart. A demolition team scrambles to make a living in neighborhoods withering like foliage in drought. A young man from the colonies goes against the tides and returns to earth, hoping to give his grieving partner something to live for. Tragedies both large and small blunt the lives and experiences of everyone left standing. While reminiscent of The Expanse with its intersecting, brilliant character sketches, Onyebuchi’s (Riot Baby) latest lacks the elements of space opera to lighten the tone.
VERDICT Vividly narrated by multiple voices and told in nonlinear vignettes with prose that alternates between devastatingly concise and arrestingly descriptive, this audiobook will appeal to fans of literary science fiction but may frustrate those looking for a traditionally structured, plot-focused story.
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