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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brisset

ElysiumElysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: A computer program etched into the atmosphere has a story to tell, the story of two people, of a city lost to chaos, of survival and love. The program's data, however, has been corrupted. As the novel's characters struggle to survive apocalypse, they are sustained and challenged by the demands of love in a shattered world both haunted and dangerous.

Read for June book group.

NOT the book the movie was based on.

I am really undecided about what I think of this selection. On one hand, it was different from what I've read before, but yet, on the other hand, it had strong elements of other known-to-me themes.

Premise of the book is Antonine/Antonnete and Adrian/Adrianne are etched in a computer program in the atmosphere. The computer program is broken and incomplete as it spools out the story of the hero/heroine after an apocalyptic event changes and destroys humanity and the earth.

The plot unwinds in a logical fashion, though it doesn't seem like it at first, as the reader follows the characters through time and events. There are consistencies: Antonine/Antonnete, Adrian/Adrianne, Hector/Helen, and an elk. Events that happen may very well show up again. The idea of a true cloud based data storage in the atmosphere to tell this story was a neat device. All these aspects made the plot a fascinating and delightful with these small surprises.

On the other hand, the book and plot were reminiscent of several other books that I've read or movies I've seen: the whole apocalyptic/dystopian theme of those who escaped and those who remain behind, an alien presence taking over the world, the concept of two souls (in this case computer constructs) moving through space/time.

So for myself it was a balance of new, different and interesting combined with existing and popular tropes. Ultimately, I think I enjoyed this, but, I'm not entirely sure? Recommended with some reservations.

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