Exodus 2022 is an atypical book choice for me – it has been a few years since I read much in the way of science fiction. I signed up for this review tour after a friend and fellow blogger told me she thought I would like the book. And she was right! I did enjoy the book tremendously. It just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting after reading the synopsis. I would term this book an eco-thriller as much as science fiction or anything else. And while I strive to be a friend of the earth – I recycle, don’t litter, and generally try to pay attention to things like household water and energy usage – I had the vague feeling that I was being scolded for being part of the human race while reading this book. For the most part, I was able to ignore the human-beings-are-destroying-the planet undertones and just enjoy the book. It is extremely well-written, with rich characters and vivid imagery. I give is a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
The story takes place in the near future, so there aren’t a lot of technological advances to try to wrap your brain around. The setting is primarily around the Puget Sound area in Washington State and the coastal waters of Alaska. Joe Stanton and his girlfriend Ella are happily vacationing when Joe starts having hallucinations about his dead daughter, Lorna Gwin. But Joe has never had a child. Joe isn’t the first person on the west coast to have these hallucinations; the others have all suffered mental breakdowns and died. Joe eventually hears a voice in his head, one that gives him directions to follow, and imparts specific knowledge to him. He is able to make contact with the consciousness, who leads Joe and Ella in a race against time to find a way to save his own life and to help intervene in the imminent ecological crisis.
The ending will likely surprise you. There are a lot of unanswered questions. (Trying to avoid spoilers here!)
In many ways, this is a classic tale of good-vs-evil. (Sheldon Beck, a former soldier who is now an unscrupulous government contractor, is a good foil for the Episcopalian priest. I absolutely hated him.) It is also a cautionary tale of human greed and lack of respect for our planet leading to an ecological disaster.
Will there be a sequel to this book? Should there be? While I would love to know what happens to everyone, both those who left and those who stayed, I have mixed emotions about the advisability of a sequel. I fear that it would be anti-climactic at best.
I received this book from Novel Publicity in exchange for an honest review.