Book Review: Restoration
Reviewed by Audrey Davis
Enthralling and chilling—a sci-fi novel focused on environmental impact
Sam Bradbury’s imaginative novel packs an eye-opening punch that toes the line between dystopian and dark realism.
There is one unnamed character that stands out as a primary character—a man, an unfortunate victim of circumstance, who eventually meets Lotus, an environmental science student undeterred in her mission to relieve the dying planet.
Rivers have dried up, the trees have died off, and the streets are blanketed in layers of trash. The smog is so thick around cities that filter masks are a must to avoid lung damage. Armed with Lotus’s doctoral research and the writings of like-minded individuals, he is determined to change the course of the future and do what he feels is necessary and right to save what little of their surroundings they have left.
The novel is broken by chapter into different points of view, sometimes returning to the same person, some only appearing once. The story is set chronologically though, so the book’s timeline is shown nicely through the characters’ actions without too much fanfare or wordy transition in between. Even though some voices are only there for one chapter and others are more prominent throughout, it mirrors the environment and its fragility. Ecosystems are all intertwined in one way or another, and most depend on others for their survival.
The future described is eerily plausible, if humanity continues down its path of burying heads in the sand and ignoring climate scientists until the problem is irreversible. Politicians making social and sometimes scientific decisions for humanity’s benefit at the detriment of every other species on Earth does not feel like a far-off reality. Any ideas from scientists are met with indifference and/or pushback.
Adding to this dark realism is a character’s sentiment of, “Who are we as people but a collection of secrets?” The reader is met with a sense of unease with every decision made, because with each decision comes with a reminder of “we don’t have much time left.”
I would definitely recommend this book— I found it hard to put it down. Every chapter urges me forward, giving me something to look for in the next chapter. Bradbury’s characters are skillfully written, and their words carefully chosen to successfully tackle a difficult topic without sounding like a broken record.
The imagery is real and palpable; you can smell the refuse our main character walks through. The message of this book is very clear: complacency can be dangerous, and we’ll have to work with nature if we want to save our environment, not against it. Man-made technological advancements and genetic engineering can only go so far if the planet continues to decline, and money cannot solve every issue.
“Our species is dependent upon each other for survival. Our fates intertwined. Your actions cannot be isolated from the whole, no matter how much you want them to be.”
Genre: Science Fiction / Dystopian
Print Length: 202 pages
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