Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton

This is a very, very slow burn of a novel, meant to be read on cold winter nights, snuggled up with hot chocolate and a wood fire and not many expectations. The apocalyptic novel certainly seems to be having a moment, and it's hard not to compare this with other books like Station Eleven (from which the cover artist seemed to draw much inspiration). This is a different sort of apocalypse, however, namely because we - and the characters - have no idea what happened.

Augustine is nearing 80, suddenly lonely and emotional after a lifetime of avoiding both emotions and attachments. He's living in the Arctic Circle, alone but for one small girl, knowing only that a year ago the other scientists at the research station were evacuated and he hasn't heard from anyone since. Sully is an astronaut and scientist specializing in communications. Along with five others, she is aboard a spaceship on a mission to learn more about Jupiter and the Jovian moons. When Earth suddenly falls silent, the crew must face an uncertain future and return to Earth.

It takes until about 200 pages into this 250-page novel for these two main characters to interact. Very little happens; nearly all the "action" is in their minds, heavily sprinkled with flashbacks until we finally understand what these two people might have to do with each other. This is not the book to read if you're looking for zombies, or cataclysms, or heroics. There are no heroes here, just troubled people doing the best they can with the hand they've been dealt. As such, this is likely to be a good pick for readers who don't normally turn to science fiction, but dedicated sci fi fans might get a little bored.

Don't go quietly...


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