I finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel for the So Popular! for the cbr10bingo. Now, the book is not bad. Not by a long shot. I just found it slow. Therefore, I thought I was going to have to review only half of the book. There is a lot of buildup leading one to think course there is going to be a big explosive ending!
It somewhat fizzled at the end. However, it kept to the tone of the book. The whole book was just watching these people live and grow and die. I felt as if I was some “God-like” creature looking down on these people while reading it. And considering one of the themes, this is most likely deliberate.
The slow build and not a lot of traditional action did make it a little hard to get into at first. Yet, through the entire time reading it I knew this was going to be good. Was it going to be a personal favorite? Probably not, due to the slowness and a couple obvious twists. (Looking at you Prophet). The fact that it is “the end of the world as we know it” (yes, at least one character made that song joke) when it is destroyed by an extreme flu, is too close to home. The fact that we would not be able to really handle it at first is true. But like humans are we will adapt.
The biggest issue I have is the “six degrees of separation” idea can be a bit confusing. Trying to remember who is who and how they are connected can get fuzzy as can the fact the flashbacks and present sometimes flow into each other without a necessarily obvious stop and start.
Overall, this realistic sci-fiction book is a strong read. I mentioned to three people that I was reading it and they all said that they loved it. I was not expecting a lot as I am usually not a fan of very popular books but was pleasantly surprised. While I am not sure if Mandel was influenced by William Gibson, but I saw him and other authors in her style of writing. This made me like her more. It was relatable in the fact that she was able to make her own style, own story and honor those before her. I would not be surprised if others have been (or will be influenced) by her style as well. I am not sure I will go onto her other works but will for certain always have a place in my heart for this one book. And while I am giving this a 5 it is more of a 4.5 for me as it is not “perfect” for my personal tastes! Plus, if sci-fi is not your genre, this is the book to read. It is “plain fiction” that happens to have a science-fiction element to it. I will also put this a young adult for the 14 and up crowd. It is a great crossover read.