Mr Tsakraklides’ new novel gives us a clue on what could happen if Mother Nature decides to reclaim what is hers in this exciting eco-thriller.
The New Earth is an interesting book and shows that Tsakraklides has talent when it comes to narrating descriptive passages which carry the reader into the near future with spark clarity. Giving us a world where mass media is not to be trusted, and where people rather get their news from a machine-modified voice of reality stars. We also enter a world where freedom of speech has been muted, leaving a segment of the population turning into minimalists who walk around in recycled clothes lost in their own thoughts. Social media is where you find out your opinion news, and it is the new gospel of the information highway. Before you gasp about a reality star becoming president, let’s say that California is governed by a Kennedy-marrying Austrian who is famous for only uttering no more than three to five-word sentences. We live in a world where anything is possible.
The author breathes life in this near-future apocalyptic world and opens the eyes in a flowing narrative that washes over the reader as they take in each new bit of information. This is where the book really excels. The science is told in layman’s terms without dummying down the text, which is a special gift that the author seems to inheritedly have as this is not an easy task and he does this swimmingly.
The characters are very articulate and at times lack a full realised three dimensional life but they do speak the stoic style of science and, although there is a total of four main characters, they sometimes get lost in the drama of the evolving earth. They do become more involved in the narrative later on and by this time, you are totally invested in Mother Nature and Science and as the Earth reinvents itself, you find yourself at a weird intersection which for me makes this a winning book about whom to root for.
I found myself not rooting to save humanity but in fact rooting for nature to eradicate the pestilence called man and extinguishing the rot and the mould to begin a fresh. This happens slowly and eventually builds and the author dishes out this deliciously-building tension and hopelessness and man’s ego thinking it can conquer whatever it comes across, and it is nice to know that sometimes fate comes in and maybe the hairless monkeys are not in charge of their own universe. Maybe it is time to retire as a species and let the next mutation or the next evolutionary link take over as they can’t be any worse than the current incarnations.
Tsakraklides heads down some strong bylines and is able to stack these as the thriller becomes more and more horrific. As the characters’ hope and hopelessness intertwine in this new world constructing itself before your very eyes, it becomes something beautiful. Beauty found in the throes of death and reforming, restructuring and like a true mother, nature must take care of its own.Overall, this is a truly beautiful well written book which needs to be admired. The human characters could be better drawn out and easier to identify with, but they are nearly bystanders as the true character is Earth with her beauty, colourless gases and other qualities coming to life, something that was never really appreciated. Tsakraklides has finally given the Earth a voice and hopefully one day maybe the mass population will wake up and listen that this house of cards is even less stable and at some point patience will end and where will we be and asks the true question: will man accept his responsibility or just be another victim of his own fate. This is where the book comes into its own. If you looking for something slightly out of the norm with beautiful passages mixed with a tightly woven eco thriller you can’t go wrong with this. A true individual work of art that should be devoured treasured and read and shared. Highly recommended.
(the Literary Licence Podcast)