3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
How much do you rely on technology? What would you do if you suddenly couldn't use your stove or coffee maker? What if you couldn't simply go to the store to buy food? Would you be resourceful enough to survive?
These are the realities Laurie, Stan, and the rest of the world face in When North Becomes South by Becky Bronson. The magnetic poles are shifting; eventually, radiation will make most of the world uninhabitable. While this isn't due to happen for many years, a superstorm devastates the world causing widespread power outages. How will the world cope without power?
The story is written in the third person perspective and follows multiple characters. The shift is clearly delineated at the beginning of each section; therefore, the reader is never confused. In a situation where there's no long-distance communication, this is really the only way to see the entire picture.
Though the apocalyptic fiction genre is oversaturated, this book is unique. I've seen the world end by a comet, by a new ice age, by an EMP, and by mass hysteria. The magnetic poles shifting causing radiation? Not so much.
I appreciated the thought-provoking nature of the book. Themes such as materialism, over-reliance on technology, and teamwork contribute to this provocative story. I finished the book wondering if this could actually happen, when, and how I would react, all of which are worth pondering.
Also worth mentioning, this book is more a series of vignettes rather than a timeline of events from start to finish. The author starts with ten years before the superstorm and moves to one year before. She gives us the day of the storm and the day after, but she jumps from six months after immediately to four years after. This served to shorten the book, yet at times I felt the plot moved too fast. I wanted more of the day to day details of how each character coped with having to scavenge for food and supplies. I didn't feel the author took quite enough time to show the despair of the characters and the more negative side of humanity during a worldwide crisis. Perhaps this would be a positive for those that don't like books that are too dark.
In addition, the book needed to be more carefully edited. I found a number of errors such as words running together, names spelled wrong, and missing words. Though not plentiful, they were egregious enough to notice easily, and there were more than ten.
Due to the grammatical errors and underdeveloped characters and situations, I rate When North Becomes South 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend the story to all who enjoy the apocalyptic genre. The book seems especially geared toward young adults, especially those of high school age as there is some minor profanity. If you like more of the day to day happenings and less of a high overview, you might want to look elsewhere.
When North Becomes South
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon