Dianne's Reviews > Severance

Severance by Ling  Ma
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really liked it
bookshelves: best-of-2019

I really enjoyed this oddball dystopian novel about a young woman in NYC soldiering on while the world around her succumbs to a deadly plague. “Shen Fever” is a fungal infection originated in China, which is transmitted by breathing in fungal spores. The symptoms initially mimic those of the common cold, but the disease quickly causes its victims (called Fevered) to become blank-faced automons, repeating rote everyday tasks until they eventually waste away from malnourishment, lose consciousness and die.

The narrator, Candace Chen, tells her story in layers, weaving back and forth in time between the present and the recent past. This worked quite well in this novel and created a nice level of tension. Candace’s deadpan narration and passive, offhand persona endeared her to me for some reason. The whole novel is offbeat…there are wry little pokes at modern society, millennial mindsets and attitudes, and corporate drone culture.

Not sure that this would be everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of “The Book of M” and “Station Eleven.” If you enjoyed those novels, give this one a try.
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Reading Progress

December 17, 2018 – Shelved
December 17, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 3, 2019 – Started Reading
March 6, 2019 –
page 92
31.62%
March 7, 2019 –
page 220
72.37%
March 7, 2019 – Shelved as: best-of-2019
March 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Michael Glad to see you enjoyed this as well!


message 2: by PorshaJo (new) - added it

PorshaJo Great review Dianne! Sounds interesting. I kept debating on this one...but if you give a nod to Station Eleven, I might have to check it out.


Toni Dianne, I’m so happy to see you enjoyed this too! Wasn’t the narrator terrific for this book?! I usually don’t read this genre but loved this book; Ling Ma is a promising author. Great review!


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen Great review Diane!


Dianne Michael wrote: "Glad to see you enjoyed this as well!"

Yes, it was a nice surprise!


Dianne PorshaJo wrote: "Great review Dianne! Sounds interesting. I kept debating on this one...but if you give a nod to Station Eleven, I might have to check it out."

I wasn’t sure either, but I got it from the library and gave it a try. Pretty much hooked me from the start, but I like dystopian novels if they’re done well.


Dianne Toni wrote: "Dianne, I’m so happy to see you enjoyed this too! Wasn’t the narrator terrific for this book?! I usually don’t read this genre but loved this book; Ling Ma is a promising author. Great review!"

Yes, I did really like Candace! Agree with you on Ling Ma, will definitely read her again.


Dianne Karen wrote: "Great review Diane!"

Thanks, Karen!


message 9: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Ooohhhh now I'm more curious than ever! Fantastic review, Diane 💖


Dianne Felicia wrote: "Ooohhhh now I'm more curious than ever! Fantastic review, Diane 💖"

Thanks so much, Felicia! 🙂


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