Merlin wakes with no personal memory of who she is, just a jumble of memories that point to a world that seems long gone. A journey that should seem simple enough in order to find answers turns out to be fraught with dangers that have not yet been explored by anyone.
There is no feeling of Merlin as a character as she begins simply as a construction of impersonal memories. The novel is plot based, and moves at a relatively fast pace once Merlin encounters other inhabitants of the desolate world. As long as you read this lightly without too many preconceived notions of how an apocalyptic novel should go, you will enjoy it.
Perhaps oddly, the female character on the front of the novel reminds me of Isobelle herself. It’s the free-flowing red hair and the slightly otherworldly skin. I also take issue with the male character that is Ford who should by rights be missing an eye.
Again and again in Carmody’s fiction we see her preoccupation with the many ways humans can destroy the earth. In Obernewtyn, we see what could happen after a complete nuclear disaster. In Alyzon Whitestarr, a sickness rises and contaminates people to create hatred. Here is the outcome of
Other reviewers have ripped this novel apart for simply reusing apocalyptic world atrocities and not bothering to make sense of the characters. They seem to forget that this is a relatively early novel and it is now more than 20 years old. I’d have to say it would have been a ground breaker novel in its time. People continue to put their heads in the sand about Global Warming and the mess that humanity will never be able to extract itself from.
I owned this novel for many years without reading it. After meeting Isobelle Carmody twice in the space of a month, I got this novel signed. Then it came to rest on my direct to-be-read pile as a personal choice novel. I feel strongly about all Isobelle Carmody books in giving them positive 5 star reviews. This one is no exception.