Book Review: Station Eleven
Long time no see blogosphere!
I’ve been gone most of the week on my writer’s retreat, and I’ve got quite the backlog of posts to make, so please bear with me as I catch back up to the daily grind.
That being said, I just finished reading Station Eleven and wanted to share my experience with you. 🙂
I put this book on hold at my local library back in October, and true to form, all my library holds came in pretty much all at once, so I have been scrambling to read everything they’ve let me borrow.
This is the last of my current library holds, so I’m definitely going to put less on hold in the future just for sake of sanity.
Anywho, let’s get into this review, shall we? Here we go!
Set in the days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
I gave this book four and a half pandemic stars.
This is my first reading of this author’s works, and I am really glad I gave this book a chance!
I haven’t read too many apocalyptic books in the past, and reading this was an effort to rectify that.
Now, I will say that this book did take me a bit longer to read than usual, but while that is usually a bad thing for me, this time it wasn’t so.
Station Eleven is a post apocalyptic story that focuses on the lives of a number of characters (dead and alive) after a gnarly pandemic called the Georgian Flu decimates the world’s population.
Very few humans are left alive, and the hustle and bustle of a flourishing world of technology is long gone, a lingering memory for those who survived.
This story’s focus is split between multiple characters’ POVs both in the world pre-Georgian flu and after. I would definitely say that this novel is more character-driven than plot-driven, and though I prefer plot-driven books, this one really broke the mold.
I enjoyed all of the characters and their interesting quirks. Clarke, Miranda, and Kirsten were probably my favorites, but all characters were very fleshed out and felt extremely real to me given their backstories. I enjoyed the progression we got to experience throughout this book.
The pre and post-apocalyptic plots were both interesting and original, though I enjoyed the plot of the post-apocalyptic world more because it was set in the present.
Unlike what one would expect out of your typical post-apocalyptic novel, there weren’t flesh-eating zombies or anything supernatural going on. The world simply died out due to this pandemic, and it was a nice, refreshing take on the apocalypse and what could lead to the end of the world.
The writing was great, and I don’t feel like this is a book you can simply blaze through, at least not for me personally. My progress was slow, but there was a lot to take in, and reading this book was like sipping a nice, aged wine. It’s okay to take your time and enjoy the journey.
If I had any cons, I would say that there are perhaps a few too many POVs in some spots. While it didn’t deter me much, from time to time I did wonder if certain characters really needed their own POV or not.
Also, the amount of flashbacks was a little much for me and at times it left me feeling disjointed. Sometimes I was more in the mood for the present and wanted the main plot to progress, but we had a bunch of flashback chapters in the past. Ultimately it worked out great in the end, but this may deter other readers and may seem a bit jarring.
All these points being made, Station Eleven is a great character-driven apocalyptic novel, with depth, loss, love and just enough chills to make for a great read. Definitely worth a shot!
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!
Have a great day!
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