In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away — to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society — but she can’t bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her. When she’s offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can’t even trust her own mind?
I don’t read a lot of dystopian books, though I can enjoy them from time to time. But something about this cover and the title intrigued me and so I requested it from Netgalley. And I am so glad I did.
This novella is a small and almost intimate story about a young woman having to make a choice, and it is superbly written. The dialogue felt completely natural and the main characters inner voice was done spot on. It has been a while since I read something that flowed so natural and easy. I am sure this book will make an amazing audiobook.
I really liked the idea of Cad… a kind of parasite living inside people that can alter their behaviour to protect their host… until they are done with them and painfully kill of the people. It is a hereditary disease, that spread like wildfire after abortion, sex-ed and anticonseptive were banned. A whole series of other tragedies has hit the earth as well both regarding climate and manmade, creating a world of settlements fighting for survival where knowledge has gone. I loved the idea how they used the plastic left behind by previous generations, because they cannot make their own anymore and the landfills are still aplenty.
In this world we follow Reid, who gets a letter that she has been accepted at a legendary university no one knows is even real. She has to choose between staying with her mother who needs her help to get by, or go escape the daily struggle to survive and work on a chance to fix the world.
And that is all this novella is really… a superbly written, character driven story with a fascinating world as backdrop. And I adored it. I really hope Premee isn’t done with Reid, or at least this world, yet, because I need more!