Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Glimmer by Marjorie B Kellogg
Published by DAW Books on October 12, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
It's 2110, the Earth's glaciers have melted, and there's no climate fix in sight. As refugees stream inland from the inundated coasts, social structures and national economies are stressed to the point of fracture. Food production falters. Pandemics rage. Rising sea level and devastating superstorms have flooded much of Manhattan and wrecked its infrastructure. Its residents have mostly fled, but a few die-hards have bet their survival on the hope that digging in and staying local is a safer strategy.
As the weather worsens, can a damaged population of poor folk, artists, misfits, and loners work out their differences in time to create a sustainable long-term society? In a lawless city, where the well-armed rich have appropriated the high ground, can an ex-priest find a middle road between non-violence and all-out war? The lives of his downtown band of leftovers will depend on it.
Sheltering among them, a young girl named Glimmer struggles to regain a past lost to trauma. As her memory returns, she finds she must choose who and how to be, and who and what to believe in, even if it means giving up a love she has only recently found herself able to embrace.
I remember how I really wanted to read this book and started it but had something come up and never got back to it. Somehow I also had the wrong impression of the age of the main character in the brief amount I read which was better once I actually read and knew more. That said, I am really glad to have finally read Glimmer. I didn’t read the blurb before I started and I think that is okay.
Our main character is Glimmer. She is all alone with no family members. She was hauled out of the water after the last hurricane about a year ago and remembers nothing before that, including her name. She lives in a big old building with the rest of the sort of strays and leftovers who have no one in a den called Unca Joe’s.
There are many dens with different philosophies and methods and different places to live. At Unca Joe’s they have rooftop gardens, some animals, solar and solar generators. The members of the den have various roles and responsibilities. Glimmer is a “picker” on the night shifts. She is given a certain block area and she is to go find something. Things like leftover electronics, matches, clothes or canned foods, certain metals. All these things are turned in to the den for credits which are used to get food and things for yourself. Other people are gardeners or security watch or communication / info workers.
There has always been a sense that at some point they will escape to the mainland where there is plenty of food / land / etc. But on the island itself, resources continue to be more scarce. This causes some dens to decide to attack other dens to take all their stuff. This plot line and its options to resolve are full of action and difficult choices. Unca Joe’s has always taken in and helped anyone who needs it and they don’t have weapons or tolerate violence.
The other story here is Glimmer. She has her day to day life and decisions, her views on the new attacks, and her gradual memory quakes where she gets pieces of her past.
Because we see the world through Glimmer’s eyes there is much we don’t know which slowly revealed as she tells us or remembers things. After I got into the story, it was easy to be engaged because of all the things I wanted to know and learn. There were major issues in their lives related to climate change and in each hurricane, more seems to be destroyed.
I was very satisfied with the ending and liked thinking about resources and renewable resources. It was a pleasure to see Glimmer develop who she was and wanted to be in her life.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
This looks interesting. I like the premise. I like that this could actually happen someday.
yes I really liked it. Initially I thought the Glimmer was 13 but she’s actually around 20. The climate change and recycling/conservation stuff was fascinating to me.
I’m intrigued! Excellent review, Anne💜 Dystopia always fascinates me.
I really liked this. I just thought the first time she was 13 and she’s actually about 20. I really like the survival stuff.
The title, cover and premise all sound interesting. Glad you enjoyed this one.
It was really good. I like all the survival conservation / recycling stuff.
This sounds very unique! Cool concepts. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you. I thought it was unique and I always enjoy survival themes, in this case in a world with climate change.
The cover is cool, and the world itself sounds interesting. Great review!
Thank you Lisa. I really liked this one.