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Cold People

Cold People

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Did I love this? Hmmmm! I liked bits and pieces of it. I think this book needed a bit more editing. When Yotam is put on trial, he is held in a museum because there are no prisons in Antarctica. “[T]he decision had been taken not to replicate the justice systems of the old world . . . [they could not] afford for a large portion of the workforce to be imprisoned when there were so few people left.” They created a society that did not have prisons and then imprisoned their new species that most people assumed would become a new working class. Discuss the inability of the surviving leaders to imagine a society that is not based around the oppression of workers. What does this reveal about who survived the journey to Antarctica? How do you think this mentality informed the values that they attempted to instill into the new race of people? Did they succeed? What lines, if any, shouldn’t be crossed to save humanity from extinction? That question is at the heart of this stunning postapocalyptic thriller. . . . [a] triumph of imagination and empathy." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

When my copy of Cold People arrived, I couldn’t start it soon enough. I just knew from the description that it was exactly my cup of tea.The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There are no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. All they have is a message: humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist…Antarctica. Cold People by Tom Rob Smith is inventive and optimistic about humanity while pointing out our flaws and I'm glad I stepped into this frightening futuristic portrayal.

A cinematic epic of global cataclysm and extraterrestrials… Themes of love, family and belonging are writ large… It’s the spectacular world-building, and creature-building, of the novel that’s most absorbing’ Daily MailWe end up with four subcultures. The originating aliens, a group of genetically engineered beings (read monsters here) with mega super powers, the cold people, who can withstand the Antarctic cold weather and also have some super powers, and the ordinary every day people. The race is on to see who wins out as the new reigning population, and who they will take under their wing, and who they will banish to a lessor portion of the frozen world. And in the end will it remain status quo or will more changes be seen in the future? One thing that was very distracting to me for much of the book was trying to figure out how this new society, which was fairly primitive, existing on native sea life, plants, and materials scavenged from airplanes and boats, was somehow creating sophisticated genetically mutated people. Granted, there was the prior existence of McMurdo Station (an existing science research station) but McMurdo was not conducting genetic experiments. Around the 70% mark it was finally explained that a top geneticist had brought equipment and knowledge with her, but it would have been helpful to have been told that earlier. Although each chapter was headed with the place and time period, I would have preferred a more linear timeline. The 20-year gap in the storyline omitted facts about the struggles in the development of communities. There were some thought-provoking moral and ethical issues. The finale concludes with difficult decisions and erupts with conflict, danger and destruction. After those humans who did not make the deadline are vaporised by the aliens, the remainder, a couple of million people, must make a new home in a hostile environment with what they have brought and what they can adapt from their surroundings. I was intrigued by the author’s scenarios of how the survivors created habitations, workplaces, social structures, and developed food sources in such bleak circumstances. Who would have thought that lichen could be so useful? There are many insightful passages in this novel. I was interested to find out how this all would work out. (Pretty predictably, in fact, but like I said, there is going to be a sequel if that ending has anything to do with it.) My beef: serialized novels tend to have a ton of filler, and there was plenty of that here too. (I should have guessed that this might be a series just from the author's bio: he is famous for them!)



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