Book Review | This Fragile Earth by Susannah Wise


Title: This Fragile Earth 

Author: Susannah Wise

Publisher: Gollancz

Release Date: 24th June 2021

Source: NetGalley
What would you do to protect your family if the world stopped working?

Not long from now, in a recognisable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They've only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they're surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.

But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones - vital to the world, ever since the bees all died - are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.

A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city...

The question is “What would you do to protect your family if the world stopped working?”, well I think the answer to that is anything, I’d do anything, well I’d like to think I’d do anything but until you are in that situation you just don’t know how you will react.

Signy finds herself in that situation and as everything she knows falls apart before her eyes will she able to keep her son safe?

It is set in a near future London, technology runs every little thing from your standard household Alexa to your smartphone to your bin collections.  If you use it to navigate your day then you can guarantee it involves technology.  Signy lives a quiet life with her young son Jed and her husband Matthew, a life where they just go through the motions of everyday humdrum.  That all stops the day the power goes out.

When the power goes out this young family find they can no longer rely on any of their tech and with the rest of London they wait and hope the power comes back on, except it doesn’t, then the water stops working and in a matter of days the cruel and selfish people start to arrive.  The ones who will break in to your house, force you to give up your food and destroy your life.  When they arrive of Signy’s doorstep her life takes a horrific turn which leads her to leave her home and head to the home of her Mother.  

Leaving London may not be as easy as she hoped, talks of oddly behaving drones and other strange things unnerves her but she has one goal and that is to make sure her family is safe because it doesn’t look like the power is going back on any time soon.

I really enjoyed this, tech is everywhere I mean I’m writing this on an iPad with my laptop as a riser and my mobile phone sits to the side near my mouse and Apple Pencil, if they broke what would I do?  Technology makes our lives easier but when it breaks down it can be horrific.  This book shows a world where nearly everything is automated somehow even the bees are little drones.  It doesn’t feel like it is that far off.

The characters in this book are very believable and that includes six year old Jed.  He was written perfectly they way his character acted your could almost here Signy sigh after yet another question from her young son.

This was a really interesting book which will stick in your head for a while after.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.




10 comments

  1. This does sound good, it reminds me of Station Eleven, which had the same idea (electricity stops). Thanks for sharing😁

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    1. It’s been years since I read Station Eleven ( looking forward to the tv adaptation) and I loved it too. This was a great book.

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  2. I love dystopian/survival reads like this one. Am adding it to my list. :)

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  3. Such an interesting premise! I actually just finished a thriller that dealt with a similar question albeit without the sci-fi element added in.

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    1. I could quite imagine this as a Netflix show, it was really good.

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  4. It's been a long time since I read a post-apocalyptic/dystopic novel and this sounds right up my alley. It's a little (or a lot!) scary that we are so dependent on technology. I started to read Lights Out by Ted Koppel (nonfiction) and had to stop because it was giving me nightmares. Oddly, I don't mind reading novels about this subject, though. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. I like the sound of Lights Out, it will probably give me nightmares too but I’m very curious about it.

      This was a good book, I think because the young child in it was believable, he behaved like I’d expect a kid too, it doesn’t always come across in books.

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  5. This one sounds interesting! Thanks for the review. I'll have to add it to my list.

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