Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This is going to be a short review. Not because I didn’t like the book, but simply because I don’t find that I have much to say about it. Ha!

This is the story of post-pandemic America. We get a glimpse of the very beginnings of the pandemic, and then we move on towards the aftermath, about 20 years later. The story follows a traveling theater group as they entertain what’s left of the United States, or at least the midwest. The story also shifts back and forth between the present day, before and during the pandemic, following different characters in the past. I thought the story tied the characters together in an interesting way. We see how characters in the past have left their legacy today. Whether its through the children they leave behind or the art they created.

I did feel that the story dragged a bit when we flashed back to Arthur (a famous actor before the pandemic) and his wife Miranda. I found the story arc interesting, but there was too much of it. As the story went on you can see the links between the characters in the past and present very well, but I felt that some of the details we gt into with Arthur and Miranda’s marriage was too much. I would have liked to have spent a little more time, for example, with the rise of the Prophet, as opposed to more Miranda and Arthur melodrama.

I was definitely left wanting to know more about this world after the pandemic, and how they continued to cope. The world seemed to be less stark than the world in the Walking Dead, for example. Without an immediate threat like zombies, the stakes are different. This world is more focused on re-building, while the world of the Walking Dead is focused on survival. The world in Station Eleven is not this happy communal place- you will always have people that are willing to do whatever it takes to survive and thrive, but there wasn’t this sense of complete and utter despair.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, even with a couple slow points.

Lilypad Rating: LilyPadLilyPadLilyPad out of 5

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