Trish's Reviews > The Electric State

The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing
Recommended to Trish by: Dennis

My friend Dennis asked me to look for a number of books while I was in London last week. This was one of them. When the Waterstones employee handed it to me, the first thing I noticed was the vibrant colour and the realism of the artwork. Naturally, I started flipping through the book. I brought it back to Germany for my friend but, of course, have read it first now. ;P

Before this little adventure, I had never heard of this Swedish author although he seems quite well-known. I also didn't really know what the book was about (apart from what I guessed due to the title and some art I had seen while flipping through).

I decided to read it in October despite it apparently being an apocalyptic scifi read and not a horror story and it couldn't have surprised me more, it fit so perfectly!
Following a girl named Michelle and a robot named Skip through the ruins of what used to be the USA, watching the remnants of a once mighty technological nation, reading the flashbacks as much as the descriptions of the present ... it was all VERY spooky. I never knew if something would jump up out of the underbrush and attack or if the terror came from the zombie-like remaining humans or the weird technology that reminded me of Skynet but also Blade Runner and one episode of Sea Quest. I was creeped out!

The story comes together nicely although I'm not sure I've successfully figured out who Walter is and what the parts directed at him were all about. You see, this story is a puzzle. You have all these pieces scattered, the art serving as your background to give you a sense of direction, and you slowly piece everything together, picking up speed along the way. And it's one hell of a smart story. Just enough text, the rest being told through the artwork.

Speaking of the art, it is gorgeous! From the colour palette to the astonishing realism of the images, I was sucked in and it only added to my growing sense of unrest while I was constantly looking over my shoulder and expecting to be jumped by something. The drones, the ships but also the other humans and sad landscapes ... brilliant!

Apparently, it started out as a Kickstarter campaign, I only found the page when looking for a good way to show you the art, so follow this link and watch the video which should give you a good idea about the colour schemes and details:
I'm so glad he was able to realize this project and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of his work.

61 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Electric State.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

October 9, 2018 – Started Reading
October 9, 2018 – Shelved
October 9, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Dennis I'm really really happy now. :) So glad you liked it. And a spooky read even!? Perfect! ;)

message 2: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Now I'm curious, too. ; ;

Trish I was completely surprised by just how uneasy and creeped out I felt while reading this - it was glorious. *lol*

And yes, I have you to thank for it, Dennis, since I wouldn't have known about the book without you.

Trish Bradley wrote: "Now I'm curious, too. ; ;"

Well, can't send you a physical copy but if you manage to get the ebook, go for it.

message 5: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Intriguing.

Trish Stephen wrote: "Intriguing."

That is the right word for it. :)

Dennis Trish wrote: "I was completely surprised by just how uneasy and creeped out I felt while reading this - it was glorious. *lol*

And yes, I have you to thank for it, Dennis, since I wouldn't have known about the ..."

You're very welcome. And now, gimme gimme gimme! ;)

Trish Bwahahahahaha. Come and get it! ;P

Dennis Better be careful what you wish for. ;P

message 10: by Trish (last edited Oct 09, 2018 09:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Trish *evil grin* I'm really curious who'll regret it more.

Dennis There's only one way to find out. ;)

I've just watched the video, btw. Pretty cool!

Trish Right? So glad they had more than enough money from the Kickstarter campaign to make this work and I hope that the one I'm backing (Grave of St. Oran's) will be just as good (though different in style)!

Dennis Neil Gaiman?!

Why am I not surprised? :)

Trish Dennis wrote: "Neil Gaiman?!

Why am I not surprised? :)"

Indeed, why?!

Dennis I really don't know. ;P

message 16: by Stephen (new)

Trish Oh, and it's a brand-new interview, too! Thank you, Stephen.

Dennis Very interesting. Thanks for posting it, Stephen.

By the way, Trish, did you listen to the soundtrack while you were reading the book?

Trish I did listen to a few snippets but couldn't keep it up (my head wouldn't allow it). It was an interesting additional experience.

Dennis Oh, that doesn't make me very confident. *lol*
But it's cool that you tried.

Trish It might just be me. I'm weird when it comes to music. Besides, the coughing means slight headaches which make me cranky.

Dennis I see. Get well soon.

Trish Thanks, I'm actually on the mend much quicker than usual so I'm hopeful. What was interesting about the music I did listen to was that while it wasn't my usualy style of music, I still liked it well enough because it really fit with the book.

Dennis That's what I was hoping for. I will certainly try it myself.

Trish Cool! Let me know how it works (or doesn't for you). Oh wait, you need the book first! ;P

Dennis Heh. Exactly!

Sheherazahde I'm surprised at the number of people who didn't figure out what was going on with Walter. If you can read it again notice that the parts directed at Water are accompanied by a picture of a man in a white shirt using VR payphone. That is Walter. He is tracking Michelle and Skip. He almost catches them at the end. You can see his car drive up while they are in the house at Point Linden. He follows them up to the house. There is a sequence of pictures that alternates between him outside the house and them inside.

Michelle doesn't know about Walter. But Skip might, or he might not!

I want a sequel!!!!

message 28: by Trish (last edited May 02, 2020 05:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Trish Some spoiler tags might be required here - especially if there ever is a sequel. ;)

Peter Parker in Texas Yes

back to top