Member Reviews

The themes of racism, climate change, misogyny, and dystopia genre were compelling - but the execution was disappointing. There was a lack of a protagonist and instead several minor characters which makes it difficult to connect to the story, invest emotionally, and see any growth throughout the story. Disappointing.

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This was an interesting read. It mixed sci-fi with end of the world vibes. Although not my normal genre, it was very well written and makes you think. I loved how the author pulled from different cultures and set an atmospheric stage throughout

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TW// animal death/murder, mentions of death (including fathers, sons/babies, girlfriends, grandfathers), murder, attempted rape, misogyny, racism, mentions of drowning, hurricane, climate change, brief mention of suicide, mentions of fatal car crash

This book was almost a one star rating for that terrible ending, but I think two stars better reflects the fact that 75% of this book was truly decent. The author just decided to go and ruin the story at the end with some truly awful plot twists.

Camp Zero has three points of view. One is the point of view of a sex worker who is working in a remote camp in Canada. Another is a professor who is trying to teach a group of laborers at the camp. The third is a group of female scientists who are isolated even farther North in Canada. The world is currently devastated by climate change and there’s a mystery throughout the whole story as to how these three points of view all connect to each other.

I really liked the climate change part of the story. It was interesting to see Michelle Min Sterling’s perspective on climate change and how she thinks people will react to the world nearing its end for humanity.

It was really unique to read the scientists in a “we” perspective instead of naming each scientist and giving them their own personalities. It made the scientists feel more like one entity and one community without any one scientist standing out from the rest. I’ve never read a book that’s ever done anything like that.

I also was really intrigued by the mystery. While the pacing of the book was slow and I didn’t vibe with the writing style, I was still interested enough to keep reading in order to solve the mystery of how these three points of view were going to connect with each other.

I wish I wouldn’t have stuck around to find the answer to the mystery because it ruined the entire book for me. For the majority of this book, I felt a need to root for these characters. The scientists are these empowered women who are trying to survive, Grant is a man struggling with loss who’s trying to make his own place in the world, and Rose is a girl who is doing everything she can to make her mom’s life better… Then the plot twists are revealed. Most of the characters end up being horrible human beings who made me physically sick whenever I even think about the actions that they took. The only two decent characters in the book are Nari and Aurora. I’m purposefully not using their most used names in the book to hide spoilers of who they are, but these two characters can only be viewed as ‘not that terrible’ because they were groomed to do terrible things. The rest of the characters are horrid and all the respect I built for them over the course of the book was shred to pieces in just a few short chapters. I honestly cannot fathom why an author would write such compelling characters only to reveal that they’re all pieces of crap at the very end of the book. It made me mad that I’d ever thought this book might be good.

Save yourself from the pain, anger, and frustration by not reading this book. If this book hadn’t taken the drastic turn that it did, it could’ve been noteworthy and worthwhile, but instead Camp Zero turns into a huge mess that will leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth by the end of the book.

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Michelle Min Sterling's Camp Zero is this mind-bending sci-fi story set in Canada, way up north, where things are not going great thanks to climate change. Sterling does this amazing world-building thing, sucking you right into this crazy future, and the characters are all so messed up in a way that makes them totally real.

I ripped through this book because I had to find out what happened next, but there were a few parts where it felt like the story hit the brakes a bit. Still, totally worth the read, especially if you're into dystopian stuff and fiction that makes you think about the world we actually live in.

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"Camp Zero" by Michelle Min Sterling presents readers with a vividly constructed world that immerses them into a dystopian landscape, rich in detail of an Earth devastated by climate change and where the richest oligarchs live in luxury insulated from the worst of the dying Earth while everyone else suffers. The author demonstrates a skillful hand at crafting realistic settings and scenarios, drawing readers into a world that feels terrifyingly plausible.

However, where the novel excels in worldbuilding, it falls short in character development. Despite the elaborate backdrop, and a clear protagonist in Rose, the characters fail to evoke strong emotional connections from the reader. They all feel flat, like an accumulation of tropes rather than living, breathing people. They seem disconnected from their own lives and lacking in depth, leaving readers feeling indifferent towards their fates. Even the women of White Alice. This may be part of the detached narrative style, but I just couldn't bring myself to care, despite being TOLD that I should.

While the novel offers a real-feeling premise and a plausible plot, ultimately, its success is hampered by the inability to create characters that resonate with the reader. Despite its flaws, "Camp Zero" may still appeal to readers who prioritize immersive worldbuilding and commitment to an idea over character-driven narratives.

It's a competent, workmanlike book.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read in exchange for an honest review.

Oh this evokes the same feelings as Patricia Wants to Cuddle and The Power. Set in the near future of Northern Canada the climate crisis has peaked. A group of women will do what ever it takes to protect their lives and each other. A powerful novel that is impossible to put down.

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Strange. Confusing. Atmospheric. Thought Provoking.

Camp Zero is an interesting new piece of climate fiction. It handles lot's of thorny issues--climate displacement, technology, environmental degradation, economic stratification, health inequities, sex work.

The prose is beautiful, but the plot is quite hard to follow. It jumps POVs, settings, and timelines frequently. I found myself less interested in the White Alive POV--a collective of women working at a remote research facility--than I was in Rose's story working as a sex worker at a mysterious base camp in Canada run by a billionaire.

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The premise of the book sounds really interesting, but I couldn't get into it. I think I struggled a bit with the world-building, and I think that's partially due to reading it digitally. Perhaps a hard copy would be easier to read so it would be possible to go back and forth to try to make sense of the rules of the world in the book. That being said, the part I did read was interesting and I can see why people would enjoy it. I think I would recommend it but with the caveat that I didn't get into it enough to finish it. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

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I got duped by a Station Eleven comp for this book and I am not happy about it. This was boring and lacked originality. The big "twist" could be spotted a mile away and there was little to no plot or character development. Jenna Bush Hager strikes again.
Thank you to NetGalley for an eGalley of this novel.

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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review!

- i unfortunately did not finish this arc, and it was because i felt this was a lackluster execution at what could've been a strong debut that focused on a post apocalyptic setting. the parts that were supposed to be a thriller (i think?) did not show up, and i didn't feel engaged in the world or the characters.

- if you enjoy post apocalyptic stories, you might enjoy this! i love post apocalyptic stories, but this one was sadly a miss.

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I think this had an interesting concept but I was really thrown off by the dual-timeline perspectives. Dual timelines don’t typically work for me, and this one definitely didn’t. I dnf-ed after a couple chapters, but I could see this working for other readers!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy.

Didn't really keep my attention.

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I thought Camp Zero was a very intriguing, post apocalyptic read. Harrowing and thought provoking. I enjoyed it for the most part. Admittedly having finished it a little while ago, it’s not a book that has stayed with me very long. The plot is memorable, but characters are somewhat forgettable. I remember really liking the writing style and how fast of a read it was, which makes me excited to try this author’s future work!

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In the not-so-distant future, climate change has wreaked havoc on most of the United States. The wealthy have created a safe haven in the form of the Floating City, protected from the heat of the sun, rising sea levels, and the ravages of hurricanes.

Enter Rose, a sex worker from the Floating City, who has made a comfortable life for herself, but is still without the means to save her mother from the devastation on the mainland. When a client offers Rose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a citizen of the Floating City, allowing her mother to move there too, she can't resist the chance. Now, she finds herself in the Canadian wilderness, seducing an idealistic architect and discovering the secrets of those at his camp.

Enter Grant, a privileged recent college graduate, who has accepted a position to teach at a university being founded by said idealistic architect in the Canadian wilderness. He's looking to leave behind a family who has amassed a fortune through the decades by exploiting the Earth and its inhabitants, but as he starts his work, he discovers not all is as it seems.

And then there's White Alice, a military mission, a climate change study, and probably much more. A group of women who are determined to not only survive, but thrive in the Canadian wilderness.

How these three storylines intertwine creates a speculative work of fiction that is atmospheric and thrilling. Some of the world-building could have been stronger as we meet a lot of characters, but only get to know a small number of them well. Technological advances, like the Flick, a smartphone-like device that's embedded into individuals from birth, sound interesting, but the way they're dealt with feel mostly didactic. A solid read, but lacking nuance and depth.

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I haven't read dystopian fiction in a hot minute, but Camp Zero was the absolute perfect book to kickstart that interest again. I devoured this book in two days. The characters and world building really were incredible, and the different points of view we were privy to in a world detrimentally changed by climate change each gave purpose and perspective to the overall story. Compared it to Station Eleven is accurate, and I honestly liked this book more. Capturing both the futility and hope of different economic and racial backgrounds was especially important in Camp Zero, and I think this is a very important spec fic book that will probably be underrated given its content.

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Camp Zero is a refreshingly original take on dystopian climate fic. It feels hopeful and doomed at the same time which seems to be the best possible way to face a world that is so catastrophically broken. The world Min Sterling constructed highlights the conflicting motivations that so often cause even well intentioned plans to fall apart.

I enjoyed the dual timelines and narrators which all told a distinct aspect of the story and the way it all came together in the end. Highly recommended for fans of dystopia, climate fic, and character driven stories.

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A prescient and thrilling look at class, privilege, and gender in the Impending climate apocalypse as resource wars, climate refugees, and persistent natural disasters are a reality for much of the world today.

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Thank you #netgalley for this arc. I found this book a really intriguing take on a dystopian world that doesn’t seem so unrealistic given the climate change we are experiencing. I found the plot dragged a bit in the middle but I really enjoyed this book, the character development and ending.

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Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling was a great story with a fresh perspective. I really enjoyed reading this and watching as the plot developed.

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc.

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this is a dystopian set around year 2050, where the climate crisis has nearly destroyed the world. it had similar vibes to Station 11 and Handmaid’s Tale. unfortunately, I found it generally slow, boring and pointless 🤷🏼‍♀️ there were a few good “oh dang” moments but otherwise, I honestly don’t get what this book was trying to do. thanks anyway to @netgalley for the gifted digital copy.

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