There’s an apocalypse, it’s seriously weird, not to say bizarre, and there’s a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field causing serious disruption, not to say chaos, to civilisation as we know it. An Apocalypse Weird entitled Reversal, then. Not a children’s book. It’s part of a series on the theme of apocalypse in the genre Weird, which I have encountered a few times in my flash fiction genre mash-ups, and I’m starting to realise that this is what I like. It’s a bit like the time I discovered a whole load of music CDs that I liked on the store shelf marked “Jazz Funk”. So that’s what I like! I’m glad I know what to ask for now.
In Jennifer Ellis’s novel, (trying not to give too many spoilers) Sasha and her colleagues, led by Arctic expert Soren, are engaged in various aspects of polar research; polar bear behaviour, auroras, ice compositions and paleo-climate change. The climate is definitely changing, and it’s not the only thing going wrong with Earth at present. Things start to get worse with some unlikely pairing off between colleagues, and go seriously bad when some disappear on a trip and everyone back at the station turns blind. There are some seriously spooky things going on, but it’s exciting and scary and, well a real thriller at the same time. Then things get even stranger: wormholes of a sort, things disappearing and reappearing, polar bears acting strangely, husky dogs fortunately behaving reliably, if only you recognise the signs.
This is a terrific full-length mash-up of bizarre twists and credible science fiction. I recognise most of the science because strangely, Ms Ellis and I have studied more or less the same stuff, even if we have been 5000 miles or more apart all this time. I like her take on the places it’s leading us, and also the integrity of the use of data and misuse of the political and psychological factors in our media.
Do you need to have studied this stuff to enjoy the book? I doubt it. It is pacey, scary, thought-provoking and … weird. I don’t want to tell you how weird because I think it’ll spoil your fun. The only thing that spoiled my fun was when it ended with me crying ‘Nooooo!” since it’s a bit of a cliffhanger… but on reflection, it was the right place to end. The rest must be another book, especially with a link to a tantalising website and the designator ‘book1’ in the title!!
I applied for an ARC of this book because I liked the sound of it. This is my honest review.