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The Migration

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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  554 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Creepy and atmospheric, evocative of Stephen King's classic Pet Sematary , The Migration is a story of sisterhood, transformation, and the limitations of love, from a thrilling new voice in Canadian fiction.

When I was younger I didn't know a thing about death. I thought it meant stillness, a body gone limp. A marionette with its strings cut.
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Paperback, 385 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Titan Books (UK)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  554 ratings  ·  110 reviews


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Blair
I’m often the first to gripe about novels being labelled as YA fiction just because they have teenage characters in them... but occasionally it's the other way round. The Migration is packaged as a science fiction novel for an adult audience; it comes garlanded with quotes from the likes of the Guardian and SFX; it has been published by adult literary/SF imprints (Titan Books in the UK, Random House in Canada). And this seems curious to me, because the majority of the book reads like a fantasy a ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Thank you @titan_books for providing me with a copy of The Migration to read and review! I thought I would love this one but sadly it ended up being not for me - however, there is a lot of merit to it, and hopefully that will come across in my review!
.
All across the world, young people are being diagnosed with J12, a mysterious illness with a growing mortality rate but when the patients are dying, they aren’t staying dead... When you say it like that, it’s understandable why it might be
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Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, debut, horror, review-copy
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking sf novel then look no further. This debut is coming out from Titan Books in March and it affected me deeply.

It follows teenage sisters Sophie and Kira who have recently moved to live with their aunt in Oxford. Kira has been diagnosed with JI2, a mysterious autoimmune condition that has suddenly started to affect teens. Nobody knows what is causing it or what the long term prognosis will be, only that a shocking number of young adults are dying from it. A
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Lata
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel about a pandemic, the historical responses to pandemic, specifically the Black Death, and the effects of climate change.
Sophie's young sister Kira is suffering from an odd illness, and is not alone. Several young people are, with epidemiologists mystified as to the cause, method of transmission, and the odd behaviour of the sufferers’ dead bodies.
There is fear, a lack of information, and Sophie's aunt Irene (an historical epidemiologist) draws parallels between the way this disease is
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Kate
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A moving and timely novel about the impact of climatic catastrophe on humanity. Building on the precedence of the Black Death almost 700 years ago, disease is linked to disaster. Above all else, though, The Migration tells the tale of two sisters who move to Oxford from Canada to seek a cure for the younger girl's mysterious immune disorder which is begin to afflict large numbers of young people across the globe. Disturbing, morbid and bleak in places, it is also uplifting and beautifully writte ...more
Lindsay
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amid a backdrop of climate-change disaster, a new fatal immune disorder begins to affect young people. Sophie Perella is a teenager about to start her senior year when her younger sister is diagnosed. Their mother moves them all to Oxford to be with their Aunt Irene who works with a center that specializes in the condition. As monstrous details emerge about the disease and how the medical community is responding to it, Sophie is forced to make incredibly difficult choices in the face of a terrif ...more
Kim Wilkins
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Connie Willis and Stephen King wrote a book together, they might come up with something half as good as this astonishingly accomplished debut novel. I was hooked from the first page, but the compelling narrative pace belies the story's complexity and layers, its ability to conjure up horrors and wonders, its deft ear for language and imagery. I am at a loss to explain how Marshall has made what is essentially an intimate, first-person story into such an epic tale of apocalypse and plague, and ...more
Diane
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa, that was quite the ride. 4.5 stars. I really didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, other than that it would be wonderful. And it was. A friend, a writer I greatly respect, praised this book to the high heavens and I’m so glad I bought it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a debut novel (following 2 collections of short stories and 2 award winning poetry chapbooks) and I am definitely looking forward to Marshall’s next work.

Without giving away any of the plot, this book is about gr
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Ellie
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*Review copy provided by publisher*

Sophie's little sister Kira was one of the first to become ill. A simple case of the chicken pox, then complications, leaving her with what was to become known as Juvenile Idiopathic Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The family travels to Oxford in the hope the research being done there can help Kira's new condition.

The Migration ticked all my boxes, I love stories about climate and diseases, plus it was beautifully written with a very human story at the heart.
Helen
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Ithil
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-proofs-work
I received a promotional copy in exchange of an honest review. This has not influenced my opinion.

First, the cover called my attention, then Gaiman’s quote on the front cover did the rest. When I read the synopsis I knew this novel would be straight up my alley. Though I do have to say, I don’t know where the comparative with King’s ‘Pet Sematary’ came from, or at least, I did not though it was appropriate at all. Maybe I just interpreted the novel in a different light.

The set up for this stor
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Lou
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interview with Helen Marshall on her novel Migration, writing, and inspirations. | More2Read

“The dead should stay dead.”

There is an unknown, the source and the end of those that have been infected by an outbreak, one that affected young people, an insidious strain of J12, a Juvenile Idiopathic Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

Sophie, a likeable and memorable character, is on a mission to discover the fates of those that die from this virus or bacterium, and as her sister, who has the disease, shifts in
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Mandy
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5* Very engrossing, original apocalyptic story. With climate change come a change in the young which may or may not be due to inherited genes and hints that it may have happened before during the time of the Black Death. Is this the future?
Barbara McEwen
It was good if not great. A bit bizarre to read during a pandemic as the book is based on a mysterious illness spreading around the world. I guess my reasoning for not rating it higher is not the plot or the writing but that I didn't really feel connected to the characters. There is also a budding romance included but I didn't buy it, no thrills and chills there. New author for me though and I think I would read her work again.
Jamie Jones Hullinger
Compelling. Unique. Well executed. I hope she writes more novels.
Tracy Robinson
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
My review from InkHeist:



“Memory is a tricky thing. It isn’t a ruler, a hard, straight line…It isn’t neat and tidy. It’s more like murmurs, voices whispering in the darkness” (7).

The Migration takes place mainly in England, at the brink of the apocalypse. I adore post-apocalyptic fiction and it was refreshing to read a book that only deals with the time leading up to the absolute destruction – a unique take on one of the most used sub-genres.

Definitely a character study and a treatise on modern
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Andreia
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I shouldn’t start my review by saying this but I read this book because of its cover and because Neil Gaiman said he liked it. Whatever book Neil Gaiman enjoys, I know for a fact that I’ll enjoy it, too. I’m not going to be dramatic and tell you that The Migration was the exception to the rule. I didn’t love it but I was still hooked from the beginning until the very end.

The Migration is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. It’s about how humanity deals with change, how Diseas
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Nicholas Kaufmann
An exceptional, beautifully written debut novel by one of the best modern fantasists this side of Kelly Link. Against a backdrop of ever-increasing storms and floods, seventeen-year-old Sophie's younger sister, Kira, is diagnosed with a mysterious new disease called JI2. It's deadly and only affects the young, but as Sophie comes to discover, there's a lot more to JI2 than anyone thinks. Because it doesn't just kill those who are diagnosed with it, it transforms them into something both beautifu ...more
Hattie
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
An easy quick read but ultimately unconvincing. Hinted at themes that were never fully explored which was disappointing.
Avery Delany
A huge thank you to Titan Books for providing me with an advanced reader copy of The Migration in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis for The Migration I was ALL over this book. In my email to Titan Books to request an ARC of it, I recounted the story of little 7/8 year old me carrying around my Encyclopedia of British History everywhere so that I could teach everyone about Black Death (my obsession at the time) to show how me and this book would be a perfect match for each
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Amber
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Speculative climate fiction at its best. The scope of this story is perfect—we hone in on the 17yo protagonist and her personal experiences amidst some terrifying changes to her life and family. There are frequent background reminders of the bizarre weather changes, but the story itself is not preachy at all—a lovely balance of character and speculative idea.
RachelB
Unfortunately felt this novel totally lost it's way in the last 1/3. Love an apocalyptic novel but the science and world needs to be well built and make sense to be believable. Personally felt there were too many implausible, random threads that weren't tied together by the end of the novel. The last 100 pages I'd lost interest. Shame as thought at the start I was going to really enjoy this.
Ellie
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5*

I, too, am shocked that I have read something that isn't Doctor Who related.
Lainie Nelson
Wanted to give this a 3 and a half. I quite enjoyed this, a good spin on the disease / outbreak story with some climate change stuff thrown in. Did find it a bit predictable but it was a enjoyable ride.
Kay Smillie
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Started off really enjoying this with the apocalypse slowly happening around us and the idea that this had happened before, more than once, in times past. Granted I found it hard to engage with any of the characters but the story was strong enough to carry it, until we get to the final third of the novel. It just meandered into a lacklustre ending. A why did I bother with this moment, thus the average rating.

Ray Smillie
Lisa Hannett
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant, beautiful, devastating book. I cried and cried and cried and loved every word of it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
T.O. Munro
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Review of an ARC of the migration first appeared on The Fantasy-Hive website in March 2019

There are aspects of Helen Marshall’s debut that feel like a young adult work – a young female protagonist in a collapsing contemporary society haunted by family woes and with an ephemeral promise of romance. However, in the skilled yet accessible writing and the poetic themes the author explores, The Migration reads more like literary fiction. Helen Marshall is an accomplished writer who has cut her t
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Matthew
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful is what I've come to expect from Helen Marshall's work. Here, a book that begins with a new facet of a well-worn trope shifts gears to become something very different while maintaining the same dreary-dark mood. In its final moments, it shifts once again and achieves flight when the poetic prose Marshall holds close to her chest is released like—well, it's too on the nose, but I'll say anyway—a flock of birds.

Helen Marshall always surprises, always dazzles, but always keeps us wrapped
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Ron Zmurk
I must admit a bias - I love Helen Marshall's short fiction, so I went into this wanting to like it. And I did. Her prose borders on poetry at times (not surprising, as she is also a poet), and she captures her main character's voice perfectly.

I realize that this has been labeled climate fiction, and without a doubt that is its central theme. But I think the author's gift is making this a very human story, even when dealing with themes bordering on supernatural and fantastical. It is told in the
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Dan Trefethen
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I met the author when I was on the board of directors of the Clarion West writing program and she was a student. However, I have followed her work since and not been disappointed. Most of what she writes might be classified in the "New Horror" category, but it's much more subtle than classic horror. It's moody, ambiguous, giving you a disquieting feeling before delivering a gut punch.

This book is more of a straightforward apocalyptic outbreak novel, at least that's the McGuffin:
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Lori
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 rounded down to a 2 for the Stephen King Pet Cemetery reference. Pet Cemetery is my all time favourite book! So to read in the synopsis that there were Pet a Cemetery under tones I was extremely excited to read this.
There is not one ounce of Stephen King in this book! Very disappointing. After I got over my disappointment I tried to get into the book on its own merits. It was just okay for me. The story was unique but not riveting. There was a touch of cli-fi, but not enough to explain what
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Helen Marshall (manuscriptgal.com) is an award-winning author, editor, and bibliophile.

Her poetry and short fiction have been published in The Chiaroscuro, Paper Crow, Abyss & Apex, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and Tor.com. In 2011, she released a collection of poems entitled Skeleton Leaves from Kelp Queen Press and her collection of short stories Hair Side, Flesh Side was released from Chi
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