Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There were a few things to this novel that I quite enjoyed, such as the level of description of the mundane life aboard the spacecraft that had seen Jupiter. That whole part of the story was like a slightly better written Clarke in 2001, but without the drama or conflict.
And that's where my problems really stem from, too. The main conflict is silence. Literally. The Earth has gone silent after an unmentioned apocalypse and what we're really got going on in the novel is two character studies between a broken, self-isolating man named Augustine and his entire life and death in an arctic wasteland (avoiding the rest of the Earth's catastrophe), and the few returning people within the spacecraft with the PoV focus coming from Sully.
It's a novel of isolation and loneliness. Plain and simple. I assume the end for Augustine was a fever dream revolving around the realization that it's not good to be alone, while Sully's decision stemmed from the same stark, bare hope.
It almost feels like a traditional mainstream novel that has been souped-up a bit to slide into the SF category. There's no breathtaking ideas, just the reliance on Emily Dickenson to carry the core concept of a whole novel. It's decent as far as that goes, but that's all it does. A long character study of self-isolation and realization with two characters who are mildly interesting and wind up in mildly interesting situations, both of which are the results of their decisions.
But me? I wanted to know more of the core mystery. There's never a resolution and that was intentional. I ask why, and alas, this is my issue, my burden, and the reason I didn't care so much for this novel. I could find picture of a lone mountain climber looking over a precipice to get the same emotions and it wouldn't take me a whole novel's length to get there.
Others might get more out of this, and I wish you all the luck in the world!
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