I read this book in two days, and it came at a very apt time in two ways. It was mother’s day yesterday and also the current virus roaming the world. There are only mentions of a ‘virus’ in this dystopia(of sorts), but there are parallels many of our idle minds would most certainly draw. The motherhood, however, is a central theme.
The story begins in a forced utopia. A new species was created for the sole purpose of guiding our planet to safety when climate change and the ensuing destruction completely wreck our system. What begins as a hopeful enterprise turns into something else. To stick to their purpose, the Erta set the planet into balance again. Every other species but that of humans was allowed to come back and populate Earth, the skies and waters were cleared up, and all that remains now is the big question of what happens next. I may look like I am revealing a lot of the plot, but this book was about none of those things I just mentioned. It is the background and the ‘function’ of the narrative, but it is mainly about one Erta-Ima. Ima is an Erta who thrives on data and needs to compute emotions or even fundamental interactions until she starts to foster a human baby. A lot rides on this experiment, but the gradual change that comes over Ima is the life of the book.
There is a raw, primal description of what Ima feels for this extremely ‘weak’ species as time passes. This is in the form of a letter to the son, and we can see how the story unfolds. One of the intense thought processes tackled here includes the purposefulness of life and what happens ‘after’. It is written in an engrossing manner, and it captured my attention. Being a quick read also helped with how I felt. I would highly recommend it to readers of the sci-fi genres who lookout for more introspection and heart in the stories. The content leans more towards the mind and questions than actual physical violence between any two feuding parties.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.