Set in near-future, Leung’s debut offers a fusion of apocalyptic fiction, SF, and young adult drama, chronicling a group of young people’s struggle to survive after an earthquake initiates a series of devastating incidents. With rising sea levels threatening to engulf the cities around the globe, the world is not what it used to be. Eighteen-year-old Becky is keen to leave her rundown neighborhood in Langley, British Columbia, as it will soon become flooded by rising sea levels. But when Becky, accompanied by her best friend Meghan left for the Reunion Square to meet their friends, Connor and Robert, she had no idea it would be the last time she would see her neighborhood still intact. A massive earthquake initiates a series of dreadful catastrophes, separating the friends. With Meghan and Robert missing, Becky and Connor must find a way to stay alive. The story grabs readers from the beginning with its realistic worldbuilding and well-crafted characters, and the apocalyptic elements are thoroughly believable within the constructs of the story. Leung is good at depicting her characters’ inner turmoil, bringing out their self-doubts, fears, wants, and passions. And she’s equally good at examining human drama, young adult predicaments, drug abuse, familial bonds, friendship, and relationships. Her characters are realistic and emotionally compelling. Initially, Becky is a regular eighteen-year-old girl who has simple dreams and hopes but she turns out to be a resilient, fierce young woman who refuses to let anything stand in her way when it comes to survival. Her bond with Connor is complex but also authentic, and the way their relationships develops throughout their journey of survival gives the story both depth and substance. Barkley steals the show with his doggy-antics. The story focuses mainly on Becky, Connor, and Tommy, offering readers greater insights into each while allowing for a sense of time and travel while the trio is on the move. Threaded throughout is a series of devastating catastrophes, including environmental and deadly pandemic that keep the pace from getting bogged down in between new revelations, action, and intrigue. While the story’s apocalyptic setting is familiar and doesn’t bring anything new to the table, Leung does a fine job of making it all seem plausible: there’s environmental devastation, submerged cities struggling to stay afloat, continuous flooding, raging fires consuming towns and cities, and deadly pandemic sweeping across states and countries. The book, with its gentler approach than most apocalyptic fiction makes for a lighthearted, entertaining read.
By Y.C. Leung
Pub date December 15, 2021
Price $30.99 (USD) Paperback, 19.99 Kindle edition, $3.99 Kindle edition