OutlawPoet's Reviews > Severance

Severance by Ling  Ma
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really liked it

So, when I started reading this one, I wasn’t sure. I was getting shades of Station Eleven (a.k.a the book most of the world loved and I did not a.k.a. 2 Pretentious Apocalyptic Fiction). I actually stopped reading it for a bit and almost deleted it. But, I returned to it and I’m glad I did.

There’s an art to this one that takes a bit to kick in. The story is told both pre and post apoc – all from the POV of Candace Chen. She’s a self -described Millennial Drone and she seems to fit every Millennial stereotype to an appalling degree. She’s a slacker poser surrounded by slacker posers. She wants to be rich but seems to have no passion besides a half-hearted attempt at blogging.

But when the Shen Fever begins to decimate the population, Candace must face what’s really important in life…or not. She can also keep doing what she’s always been doing while the world falls apart.

In the pre-apoc sections, Ma lulls the reader into a sort of complacency. Candace’s life is so very mundane. But then (oh, but then!), in the post-apoc sections, the author bludgeons you in the skull with unexpected brutality and the horror of existence. And she does it again and again. And each time she manages to shock you.

The book is violent and hopeless and such a compellingly dismal take on current society.

The ending is a bit ephemeral. While I generally like a more concrete ending, I do like what Ma did here. It’s a statement and it works.

Very, very glad I went back and finished this one.

*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 2, 2018 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Taryn (new) - added it

Taryn I came here wondering if I should read this one and after learning that we totally agree on Station Eleven, I might have to give this one a try!

OutlawPoet lol - you mean I'm not the only Station Eleven hater? I'm so glad!!!

message 3: by Taryn (new) - added it

Taryn You are not! I finished it and was like, "I feel like I'm missing something..." both because of how much love I've heard for the book and how it ended.

message 4: by Aloke (new) - added it

Aloke Another Station Eleven non-lover registering...

OutlawPoet lol - really, so glad I'm not alone!!!

message 6: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Gingras For what it’s worth, I disliked Station Eleven the first time around and years later, really liked it upon reread. Totally get it and also get the similar vibe this book puts out.

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