The Annual Migration of Clouds
by Premee Mohamed
Narrated by Eva Tavares
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Pub Date 30 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2021
“This packs a punch.” — Publishers Weekly
“One of the most unique and engaging voices in genre fiction.” — Booklist
“In this rich and nuanced universe, Mohamed offers an emotionally fierce and human story that takes the time and space to personalize apocalypse.” — STARRED review, Quill & Quire
A novella set in post–climate disaster Alberta; a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community
The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away — to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society — but she can’t bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her. When she’s offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can’t even trust her own mind?
With keen insight and biting prose, Premee Mohamed delivers a deeply personal tale in this post-apocalyptic hopepunk novella that reflects on the meaning of community and asks what we owe to those who have lifted us up.
|DURATION||4 Hours, 49 Minutes|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 23 members
The Annual Migration of Clouds follows Reid, a woman infected with a parasite called Cad - it kills others, it leaves others, and Cad also chooses to stay in the bodies of certain people, not only living off them but making its carriers do (or not do) certain things. Reid lives in a community that is attempting to survive after civilization has collapsed due to a climate disaster (and Cad). She knows all her neighbours because no one that has left the community has ever come back, and no one really knows what is outside of it for certain. One day, she receives a letter - written in real paper! - offering her a place at Howse University (what is left of civilization) as long as she can make it there in two weeks time. Reid is then conflicted by the decision of abandoning her community that needs rebuilding to go to a place that may not even exist.
I thought the novella was incredibly well written, thought-provoking, and (while not necessarily fun) interesting. I usually hate reading short fiction because I like getting to know the characters I am reading about, and I feel novellas don't quite let me do this. Mohamed managed to write her characters perfectly and explore their relationships even when the whole plot was going on.
I'll just bullet point why I think this was an awesome read because I'm out of brain juice and can't write:
- Well-crafted and eerie dystopian world,
- Great characters,
- The parasite is creepy,
- The characters are aware they lack critical information (is the parasite sentient? does the university exist? what happened to those people who left? etc.) and thus there is no such thing as easy choices,
- The cover,
- The audiobook narrator, Eva Tavares, was really good,
- It's a novella but it packs a punch.
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