Clade: “a group of organisms believed to have evolved from a common ancestor, according to the principles of cladistics.”
Told over decades, Clade is a bit like a short story compendium of characters from the same family. Adam and Ellie start a family in the shadow of global warming and the catastrophes it will unveil. As they age and grow apart, the narrative shifts to other family members as they live through different iterations of the same problem: how to survive a world with closing borders.
Clade is hard to categorize because it isn’t entirely a post apocalyptic story, or a sci-fi story, or a disaster story- although I got it from the sci-fi section of my book store. It is a character examination with elements of those genre tropes, but brought to life slowly and over time, the way our climate catastrophe is playing out.
At times I wished there was just a little more book to this. Some of the most interesting characters get short changed by the switching perspectives, and it can take a few sections before we catch up with them again and find out what’s happened. In one case, there’s a character who is shoe-horned in very late, and who feels only peripherally attached to the rest of the characters, which leads me to wonder if it was it’s own short story that was added to flesh out the book. It’s a quick, compelling read that leaves you hopeful but also aware of the problems we’re going to face.