Shelly's Reviews > Clade

Clade by James  Bradley
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liked it
bookshelves: aussie-authors, reviewed

The premise of this story is what really pulled me in and this is what likely raised this to 3 stars from my inclination to give it 2.5

For some reason it made me think of On the Beach by Neville Shute. I'm not really sure why, maybe it was the apocalyptic overtones of a world that we've managed destroy, told from an Aussie point of view.

A combination of environmental destruction, a population-threatening pandemic, virtual reality and artificial intelligence came hauntingly close to any number of possible futures in our own reality.

I came across this book as part of a current reading challenge to read more Australian Authors. I'd not heard of either the book or the author, but was keen to give it a go.

The story is told in a series of narratives that follow one family through three generations and their experiences in a rapidly changing world. The nature of the content would make the reader assume that Bradley was trying to get across his agenda or opinion on the state of the world.. but it never seemed to quite get there.

I found the use of present tense in the novel distracting, mostly due to the frequent swing back to past tense every now and then.

It was a quick read (one evening sitting) and perhaps this was part of it's downfall. The light touch on such serious subject matter added a sense of triviality to the book as did Bradley's seeming lack of attempt to deal with the issues in any meaningful way. It was almost as if what was happening in the world was really just an inconvenience to the characters who continued on in as normal a way as possible.

The snapshot style of the narratives, that jumped between several character view points, meant it was difficult to develop any real rapport with the main characters and their losses and struggles didn't touch me the way I would normally expect if I was really invested

The story itself still had an interesting premise and ideas and as it was an easy and quick read, still worth picking up if you have nothing else lying around.

However, I can't help but feel that a story dealing with some very possible glimpse of a future we could be headed for, shouldn't be such an easy read. It should be impactful, leaving us in shock to question our actions and our future. It just left me wanting a little bit more as it didn't quite live up to it's promise.
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Reading Progress

July 15, 2017 – Shelved
July 25, 2017 – Started Reading
July 25, 2017 –
page 55
July 26, 2017 –
page 192
July 26, 2017 – Finished Reading

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