Beth Cato's Reviews > The Wild Shore

The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson
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Apr 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: in, 2011, science, fiction, dystopia
Read in June, 2011

In the year 2047, humanity struggles to survive in the ruins of coastal California. Almost 50 years before, nuclear blasts decimated thousands of cities across the United States. However, this is the only world teenaged Henry knows: a world revolving around harvests, fishing, the howl of the Santa Ana, and the danger of wild-eyed scavengers in Orange County. His ancient mentor, Tom, taught him how to read and of the way things used to be. Henry's world shifts when strangers from the outside arrive. San Diego seeks to unite the coastal communities by handcar rail, even as outside forces bomb their efforts. Henry must decide where his future lies.[return][return]This was a fascinating coming-of-age tale. It's not a suspenseful read. It builds slowly, and shows how people have scraped by. I loved the details on fishing and harvest time, and all of the characters felt real and complicated. Some people might find the detailed world building to be dull, but in some ways, it reminded me of a childhood favorite, The Other Side of the Mountain, or a pioneer book. Those details made their hardship feel genuine to me.[return][return]This apparently is part of a trilogy called The Three Californas. I'm a little disappointed that the other books cover different interpretations of the future Orange County and won't continue this post-apocalyptic setting. However, as a native Californian, I adore speculative fiction set in the state, and I will read the next books at some point.
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