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Disaster's Children

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  66 reviews

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival and that of humankind.

Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers call “the Disaster,” is a casualty of ravaging climate change, a troubled landscape on the brink of catastrophe.

Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Little A
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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I'm going to keep this one short. I was so excited to read this as the summary sounded wonderful and I have Kindle Unlimited so it was very simple to obtain. Sadly, it never converted into a spectacular read.

Marlo and her fellow enclave inhabitants weren't ultimately the most interesting bunch though their existence sequestered from the wider society was a very interesting setup. The information on the culmination of climate change on the wider world is received in drips via email or news glean
Britta Böhler
Interesting premise/setting but... Boring.
1.5* rounded up because it's a debut.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

When I read the synopsis of this book I'd imagined a whole other story than the one I got. It unfortunately did not meet the expectations I set when I started this novel. I was expecting more suspense, action, and twists and turns. However, what I got was a monotone story with unrelatable characters. I didn't like that almost the whole story was set on the self-sustaining Oregon ranch. I would've loved for the main character to grow a
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arc
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book hits all of the points that I find fascinating (and terrifying) about the rapid and long-term effects of climate change. Marlo, the adopted daughter of two people who read the writing on the wall two decades ago, lives in a compound in rural Oregon. Among them in their community are other wealthy people who picked up and left their old jobs, friends, and lives to get ready for the collapse of society, which they expect
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Yet another story with an interesting premise but poor execution. Adopted Marlowe has lived in a
Wealthy idyllic self-sustaining ranch while the outside world (“the disaster“ due to climate change) Is on the brink of catastrophe. The story was just too slow for me, with little conflict and predictable twists.
Eloise Caleo
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found Disaster's Children riveting. It's the first book in quite a while that I have read in one stretch, devouring it over a long summer's day, pausing only to make a sandwich and take it back to the couch. I fell in a bit in love with Marlo, Sloley's main character. Sheltered yes, but asking so many questions of herself, good questions, that so many of us are asking, even if our choices are not as stark as a gated community versus the outside world. I enjoyed Marlo's self-consciousness and u ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This wasn't bad, and expanded on some interesting themes, such as group dynamics in a closed community and parent-(adult) child relationships and expectations. However, I never really felt fully engaged with the plot or characters - it always seemed something was about to happen, but didn't and the genuine points of conflict and drama seemed quite quickly glossed over in favour of the central character's musings. Given the open-ended nature of the ending, I'm wondering if the author is primed fo ...more
Carolyn McBride
There were parts of this book that I enjoyed and parts that I wanted to enjoy. But didn't. I enjoyed reading about the compound and the people and personalities that kept the place running. But that might just be the prepper in me. There were parts of the plot that I could have done without, for instance, the one-night stand...was it crucial to the plot? But, I'm sure the author had a plan. So little things kept me from enjoying the book more, but overall, it wasn't a bad read. ...more
Polly Krize
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Long a fan of dystopian, post-apocalyptic fiction, this seemed promising. Unfortunately, I found it boring, with poor character development, and predictable plotting. Only my opinion.
Kelly Neff
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Liked the idea, but ending was a bit of a let down.
Andrea McDowell
*114th climate book*

I waited a very long time for the library hold to come up on this one. When it finally did, I was surprised to see so many negative reviews and lukewarm ratings here, and started it with a bit of trepidation.

I needn't have worried. I love this novel.

The disconnect appears to be one of expectations: negative reviews so far say that they were expecting a post-apocalyptic, dystopian story. I guess that's what happens when the field of cli-fi was so dominated through its developm
coty ⚡
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, favorite-covers
the description invokes the vision of a thought-provoking, suspenseful, "dystopian" tale and it's... not really that. it flirts with the idea of the apocalypse and that in itself could be interesting, but it loses itself somewhat in the romance aspect to a degree that was kind of detrimental to my enjoyment - especially when the narrative acts as if it's going to have some frank discussions re: sexism, racism, classism, etc, but never really commits to it in any meaningful way. there's also the ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought I would probably like it based on the premise and the cover (which I love) but even with out many expectations I was still disappointed. A blurb on the cover described it as “rich with detail” but I found a lot of the details pointless. And I like my details to have a point. The way the characters acted and reacted to each other always struck me as slightly off, like it actually the way real humans would react and talk in that situation. The book just ended up irritating me with all th ...more
Rachel Dawn Drenning
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was my first time reading this author and I really enjoyed the book. It's a dystopian tale and I love stories based on what could happen to the world. She did a really good job with character creation and I'm hoping there will be more books to follow this one. There was an unnecessary sex scene that was just thrown in there ( it seemed) but other than that the book was good and I will read more by her. ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Oddly, this is yet another book in central OR...about preppers. Wealthy people create an idyllic oasis and opt out of what they call 'the Disaster'. It's interesting because they are not religious or political; they're simply creating a a really comfy place for humanity's last stand. Frankly, it sounds tempting, and I couldn't relate to the young protagonist's desire to leave. The plot kept me turning the pages, but there were plot lines that just went nowhere, so I kept waiting for....more. ...more
Rachel Glass
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Thank you to the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

Climate change has been something I've been trying to keep in mind in my daily life and to take action accordingly where I can, but it's not something I've really seen in fiction before, hence why I requested this book.

Marlo (I assume her name is a portmanteau of both her parents' names) has grown up on an exclusive commune-type community for the wealthy hoping to survive when the effects of climate change strik
Shannon Robinson
**I received an ARC ecopy of this book at no charge thanks to Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion - my words are my OWN.

The writing was decent and the third star is for grammar and vocabulary, which was good. The problem was with the formatting (and hopefully the edited & finished version will correct this); the hyphen-split words at the end of a line were done weirdly and it distracted my eye. Like "slaughtered" at the end of a line of text was split as SLAUGHTE-RED and "however" was "H
Emi Bevacqua
Marlo's adoptive parents, Maya and Carlton, co-founded The Ranch as a co-operative enclave for liberal 1%ers in the endtimes; 5-yrs old on arrival 20 years ago, lone denizen in her age-range since the dramatic departure of her childhood friends Alex and Ben who've forsaken the Ranch and their parents in order to rescue the outside world, aptly known as the Disaster. We don't really get to know other ranchers in depth, this story is Marlo's inner struggle as she matures and craves her own indepen ...more
Rochelle Siemienowicz
How should we live in this time of near apocalypse? Withdraw and shut out the worst, while the rest of the world burns? Or face it, fight it, and be a part of the 'disaster'? This sensitive, convincing and very relevant coming of age story is set within the confines of an intentional community of rich 'preppers' who are literally building a wall around their idyllic ranch. The central character, Marlo, a young woman raised by overprotective parents, yearns for adventure and the chance to make a ...more
Carol Kean
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful prose from a talented author, with well-defined characters, distinct and memorable! My Kindle is full of passages I highlighted for the insights, imagery, extraordinary ideas, and rich details. I love the way the world outside one microscosm of humanity, modeled in part after an ecovillage with "intentional communities" and committees voting on whether to allow new members in, but curiously isolated and insulated from the outside, even while taking advantage of forays to the outside fo ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
”If you blinkered your view of the world, focusing only on the most encouraging signs of continuity, no matter how anomalous, you could pretend for whole stretches of time that nothing bad was happening.”

Disasters Children follows the story of a tight knit community who have invested their life’s savings into prolonging a project that will see them through to the other side of the end of the world. Referring to the outside world already as ‘The Disaster’, those living in The Ranch are focused so
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival and that of humankind.

Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranch
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Disaster's Children by Emma Sloley is a so-so wealthy survivalists story incorporating a dystopian setting with a romance and mystery.

Marlo has been raised by her wealthy adoptive parents and a group of other wealthy like-minded survivalists in a secluded community in Oregon. She has lived in the isolated community for 20 years, since she was five. The community was started by doomsday preppers based on the approaching climate change. The residents call the outside world "the Disaster" and altho
John Newton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book with thanks to Little A via NetGalley

Marlo is twenty-five years old and has been raised on a survivalist ranch in Oregon, cut off from the rest of the world as it crumbles under the effects of climate change, referred to as 'The Disaster'. However the ranch is only populated by the successful and wealthy from similar circles of society that can buy their way in with membership, they purchase supplies off site (so it's not an entirely self-contained ranch, therefore
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
The draw of this book was the apocalyptic theme, doomsday preppers and how a society could function outside the traditional norm. You are drawn into the small society and gradually realize they just aren't likable.

The group is made up of professionals such as doctors, journalists and architects - also those with farming knowledge and apparently many of those from a wealthy station in life. The isolated life these people lead could be described as a gated community (think very large scale) where
Marco Rafalà
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Disaster's Children, decades of environmental neglect is finally catching up with humanity. Coastal cities are underwater, displacing millions, turning even American citizens into refugees. Crops are failing, threatening the food supply of nations around the globe. The world is on an inexorable march toward ruin, and only the wealthy have the means to delay the inevitable. On a sprawling ranch in Oregon, families with deep pockets prepare for the end. They wall themselves off from the rest of ...more
Hana Correa
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Disaster’s Children is a doomsday story revolving around Marlo, a Chinese American woman, whom after being adopted as a toddler has lived her entire life in an insulated community. Now 25, Marlo feels torn between accepting the role of successor to her parents community they have built, and accepting an active role in the ravaged world outside her gates. A world decimated by climate change, it is known simply as the Disaster. Deeply conflicted, Marlo feels obligated to honor the legacy her famil ...more
Michelle Newbill
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I recieved this book as an ARC from good reads.

Well what I can say about this book is that the author wrote this book with a thesaurus in hand, choosing, in a lot of cases, the most obscure words possible. I consider myself a very intelligent person and I was constantly looking up the meaning of her words. I felt a loss of the story line because I was having to do this so frequently. I would rather you just say what you mean instead of trying to confuse the reader by using words I have never hea
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marlo has spent her entire life on the ranch, insulated from the goings-on in The Disaster of the rest of the world. Isolated from the truth of what’s happening outside of their idyllic ranch, she can’t help but be drawn to leave the safety of the ranch when her best friends, ex-ranchers Alex and Ben, notify her that it’s getting bad, quickly, and offer her an opportunity to fight the good fight, instead of hiding behind the walls o the ranch. Prepared to leave, Marlo’s plans are derailed with t ...more
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Emma Sloley began her career as an editor at Harper's BAZAAR Australia before moving to New York to become a freelance travel writer.

Her short fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Catapult, Yemassee Journal, The Masters Review Anthology, The Tishman Review, Structo, Cleaver, JMWW, and Barren magazine.

Her travel writing has been published in Travel + Leisure,

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