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Lotus Blue

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Powerful war machines of the far-future collide across a barren desert world in this post-apocalyptic debut novel from award-winning Australian author Cat Sparks.

Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforg
Paperback, 377 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Talos
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Popular Answered Questions
Cat Hi Tia, I wrote it as a stand alone, but have material enough for another book if Lotus Blue sells well enough.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tom Davies It's an acronym, but no-one remembers what it stood for. (That's my fabricated answer)

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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eight years ago, Ekaterina Sedia picked Cat Sparks’ short story “Sammarynda Deep” for her Paper Cities anthology, publishing an Aurealis Award winning story and seeding readers’ subconsciouses with the flesh-mesh inhabitants of Arabesque, post-apocalyptic ports.

In that time, I’ve waited patiently to relive the spine-shivering feeling of watching people changed by a technology so advanced that it might as well be magic, and in “Lotus Blue,” Sparks has again delivered in spades.

The point-of-view c
Tim Hicks
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Could have been four stars. Isn't.

Too many characters.

Quarrel, yeah maybe. But 2x size and many don't twig that he's unusual? Could anyone doubt that he was a Templar? Suppose an average man is 5'9" and 170 pounds. Shaquille O'Neal, 7"1" and at least 350 pounds, is not particularly close to twice that. Mountain from Game of Thrones is listed at 6'9", 403 pounds, still short of twice the size (even though both make it in weight). Andre the Giant, 7'4", 500 pounds. Still not there. Gotta be over
Tough to figure out what was going on for several chapters, but I kept going, and did enjoy this eventually. More to say later.
Keith Stevenson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
World building is the real star of Lotus Blue, the debut science fiction novel for Australian author Cat Sparks.

Very quickly in this novel Sparks creates a vision of a future Australia – an already ancient land – that’s further weighed down by centuries of environmental disaster, turmoil and wars so that the ‘present’ of the novel feels old and tired indeed.

Caravans wend their way across the land between scattered outposts as the red desert encroaches more and more on what semi-fertile land is l
Like I said in the update status this was a book with a very appealing setting for me.

It`s a post apocalyptic world ravaged from a long period of wars, long forgotten battles of advanced technology, in wich you could find only some remains of the civilisation before.

The zone where our action it`s depicted it`s mostly sandlike and there are often sandstorms (artificially created, most of the times) that could ravage in a minute whole areas of life.

These vast planes of destruction are populated by
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a judge for the 2017 Aurealis Awards. This review is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator, or the Aurealis Awards management team.

Cat Sparks is a well-known figure in the Australian speculative fiction scene, both for her work as a prolific short story writer and editor. Lotus Blue is her much-anticipated debut novel.

Lotus Blue is set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, a land that has been ruined by both war and climate
Mar 29, 2017 added it
DNF - after over a week and less than 100 pages read, I had to throw in the towel. The world was fascinating but the amount of characters thrown at the reader throughout the first few chapters made it very hard to actually understand or become submerged in that world. I never did get drawn into the story.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just didnt excite me. Main character was an observant. Writing and world building were great. Story and plot was quite slow for me.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Skyhorse

Publishing Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9781940456706

Genre: Dystopian/SciFi

Rating: 4.0/5

Publishers Description: Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforgiving section of the Dead Red Heart, a war-ravaged desert landscape plagued by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monste
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Centuries ago, wars ruined the earth, destroying cities and wrecking the environment. But humanity remains as people struggle to survive in the harsh world that remains. But an ancient and powerful war machine, Lotus Blue, has awaken in the desert, and what’s left of the world may be at risk.

Lotus Blue has a variety of POV characters, but the protagonist is clearly Star, who has far more sections than anyone else. Star and her sister Nene live and travel with a caravan of traders, heading up and
So much is great about this book that I would never know where to start. The author blends a desert post-apocalyptic setting with elements of cyberpunk and dieselpunk in such a seamless manner that the world is pulsing with life, despite being very dead. It’s grand in scale while being a personal journey. It’s an adventure. It’s just so good in so many ways.
Stephanie McLeay
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Set in an amazing world, but somewhat lacking in character
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Fairly interesting setting but the book is clumsily written, lacks interesting characters and gives away it's surprises before you invest in the mysteries.
Kyla Ward
Dear legislators, bioengineers, and the team who built that robot leopard;

Please, please don't make the mistakes your counterparts did in Lotus Blue. Although a solid read, evoking wonder and excitement, it presents an appalling future where all our ingenuity has run amok in the name of war.

In Lotus Blue, most of the world has been reduced to toxic ruin, inhabited only by such plants and animals as were genetically modified for use as guards, and semi-sentient tankers, preying upon each other fo
Teresa Christensen
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good Science Fiction read!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic, interesting use of nano-technology.
A post-apocalyptic tale that is a bit different.
Carol Ryles
Lotus Blue is the story of future generations struggling to survive in a world ruined by their ancestors. Set in Australia, where climate change and centuries of high-tech war have turned the land into dead red dust — where the privileged enjoy prosperity in underground settlements, and others eke out a living above ground — an ancient and deadly AI awakens.

Although humanity had at some stage possessed the expertise to mitigate climate change, it chose instead to fight over the world’s dwindling
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I love the setting of this book: a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland populated by ancient cyborgs, intelligent machines, enclosed residents of buried sanctuary cities and desperate survivors scraping a living by scavenging machine parts among the sands.

There are, if I counted correctly, eight POV characters including a rebellious young woman who's grown up crossing and re-crossing the desert with her doctor sister, a warlike artificial intelligence, the cyborg leader of a refugee colony and a tr
Lotus Blue was ok but in desperate need of a good editor! Started out well, good world building and a ton of characters which required a little brain power to sort out. But getting to the finish became a slog of momentous proportions especially with three or more different viewpoints. I think an editor could have helped to clean up the mire a bit and get us their a little faster... And a love interest at the 11th hour is a bit of a stretch for me. The writing was good - enough to have me reach t ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cat's trademark lush description and scrappy characters make a seamless transition from short form to long. Quirky AI and cyborg personalities are an easy way to my heart, but these are magnificent. A glorious oil painting of a novel.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Cat is my dear friend and mentor; this review is of a pre-publication version that I obtained for free (unless you count my ceaseless pestering).
Bored to Death book club
What is this book about?
Set in an apocalyptically barren and hostile desert landscape crawling with half-mech, semi-sentient machinery and other monstrosities, Lotus Blue presents a bleak depiction future ravaged by war to almost extinction.

Star and Nene are two orphan sisters travelling with desert-roaming nomads in a thirteen caravan procession that survives day-by-day in an inhospitable and unpredictable environment. Star has always yearned for something more than the life of a nomad, b
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
While this may not be a uniquely Australian perspective on the future - other places have deserts - there's still definitely a strong Australian flavour running through this world. The Dead Red Heart, the dust and sand, the mad tankers (Sparks acknowledges a debt to Andrew Macrae's Trucksong), the caravans, the grim survival in the face of crappy odds. Also the place names that occasionally gave me a giggle, to see them cropping up in this devastated future.

Cat Sparks is a friend... but she'd ne
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recently read, with great enjoyment, this hot new post-apocalyptic novel. I’m a sucker for the genre, and this novel has shades of Dune , Mad Max, A Canticle for Leibowitz , and the works of Roger Zelazny – yet is not derivative. As a fan of the trans-Australia World Solar Challenge, I particularly liked the caravan of solar trucks on the cover. The cover also shows the falling satellite which marks the emergent threat to the world of the novel.

While opening with a solar-powered trading
Ken Richards
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Picked this novel from the library shelves on the basis of its evocative cover. The author cites 'Dune' as an influence, but I did not see that connection.

Instead, the story is of a world ravaged and almost destroyed by the relentless advancement of military technology. The Dead Heart of Australia has become the Dead Red Heart, and the lands are reduced to fortress cities, hardscrabble trading towns and caravans of traders moving across the dangerous hinterlands. The currency of trade is in reli
I think I saw a tweet from N.K. Jemisin recommending this book, and I can see why. The imagination and world that Sparks creates is easily 4 stars. Unfortunately, I found the execution of the story to be more of a 2. But I still liked it, thus the 3 star rating.

Ok, so the world: what was Australia, in the super future (at least 200 years+ from now). What remains is almost unending desert, melted cities, highly guarded underground enclaves and an assortment of "mecha" - half living, half mechanic
Edwina Harvey
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lotus Blue is a post-apocalyptic book set in the expansive Australian outback. It's a fascinating world that Cat Sparks has created, where the surviving humans exist any way they can in a barren and often hostile environment.

The main character is a 17 year old girl called Star who lives with her sister and extended pseudo-family on a convoy of trucks travelling the sands. But it is a "coming of age" story, and the life Star feels comfortable with soon begins to shift and change around her.

The Lo
Phillip Berrie
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of apocalyptic fiction
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a solid post-apocalyptic tale with a novel Australian/cyberpunk flavour. I am giving it four stars because it didn't make me go 'Wow!', which is my qualification for great science fiction.

Pros: Being an Aussie I liked the Australian feel and references. I also liked the mingling of old powerful tech with the survival-level adaptation of the various characters and that the author wasn't afraid to have the characters suffer the consequences for their actions; even those we were supposed to
I hugely enjoyed Lotus Blue, right from the start. This may not make sense, since they’re really not particularly alike, but the flavor of this story reminds me a lot of Firefly (a favorite of mine). The author’s descriptions are evocative, and the worldbuilding is sublime. I love the way she looks at modern (and futuristic) tech through the eyes of a people who have long forgotten what it actually is; the combination of advanced technology and primitive culture is quite intriguing. I love how t ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Easy reading with a very cool take on the post-apocalyptic story. Sparks is an accomplished writer with an imagination that is a treasure-trove of ideas and the chomps to mark her as an Aussie writer to watch.

The melding of superstition, religion and left over technology as magic was brilliant and evocative, I wanted to dive right into that world and learn everything I possibly could about it. But Sparks knows quite well how to dole such wonders out and tease the reader along as the story progr
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

For me, this was a different kind of story. I liked the dystopian and sci-fi aspects of the story. At times I was confused and wanted to just kind of skim through what was written. But yet the author was trying to give information that created a very different world so these details were important.
I really like the idea of what the author is creating here, but for me it was very long and drawn out style of story. I wasn’t eager and excited to come back and see what was going to happ
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Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist whose former employment has included: media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, graphic designer, Fiction Editor of Cosmos Magazine and Manager of Agog! Press.

A 2012 Australia Council grant sent her to Florida to participate in Margaret Atwood’s The Time Machine Doorway workshop. She’s currently finishing a P

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