Book Review: Station Eleven

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.
Twenty years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it

Station Eleven follows the events before and after an epidemic flu kills 99% of the world.  It follows a few people that are all loosely tied together.  Two of the people that it follows are an actor and a little girl (primarily an adult through most of the book) 

that acted with him on his final performance. 

This book takes us all over and spans over 20 years. It can jump back and forth and between characters that things can get a little confusing.  We also never really get to know any of the characters too well which makes it difficult to care what happens to any of them. 

I did enjoy the random connectedness between the characters that show whether in a small or largely populated world the six degrees of separation rule can still apply. 

I listened to the audiobooks version of this and the narrator did a good job,  nothing fantastic, but well read. 

Overall I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The extra .5 is a bonus for the book taking place in my home state of Michigan and the general Great Lakes area. If you are a fan of post apocalyptic books this may not be the book for you as that is not really the main focus of the book and only about half of the book takes place in the “post” world


T5W: Books I FINALLY want to read in 2017

I recently thinned out my TBR but there are still books I haven’t gotten to yet.  

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Sting Larsson

I read the first two books and really enjoyed them.  But have yet to get to the third.  I will have to wait to get in the right mindset for this book though. Such terrible things happen in his books and it can be hard to stomach at times. 

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

I own this book.  I started reading it but got distracted by other things.  I really need to pick it up again and finish it this time. 

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

This is another book I own and started to read but never finished.  Lizzie Borden mixed in with Lovecraft creatures.  Why did I not finish it?  I will next year. 

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I bought this book planning to read it and just never got around to it.  I have heard nothing but praise for this series and I really need to get with it. 

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A.  Heinlein

This one has been on my TBR the longest.  Probably since 2002. It’s time to move it to the “read” pile.

Here’s to hoping I can actually reach this goal in 2017. 

Have you read any of these? Which should I get to first in 2017? 

December TBR

For the month of December I have three books that I have already started and a few that I hope to start.  All my books come from the library and as of right now none are due back anytime soon so I don’t feel too much pressure to get to certain ones.

First are the books I need to finish.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

This is my first Christie novel.  I have been slowly getting through this during my down time at work. So far it is fun to try to guess who the killer is and Christie provides a plethora of suspects to keep it interesting.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I am listening to this in audiobooks in my car,  mostly on my travels to and from work.  This is the story of a young girl whose mother commits suicide, and not to long after she becomes pregnant by the preacher’s son and decided to have an abortion and follows the events after this decision.

The Batman Chronicles 

These are the original appearances of Batman in the Detective Comics series. I have been reading this on and off for a while, getting through one or two stories at a time.

Now in to the books I plan on starting this month.

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

I picked this one up on a whim while perusing the sci-fi section at the library.  The cover drew me in and I really don’t know much about it other than its a steampunk novel where the heroine has healing powers and is on an airship where a murder has taken place.

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

The next booking my plan to get through all of the Series of Unfortunate Events. These books continue to delight and enrage me.  I want to get through them to see if my thoughts that there is an underlying subplot are true.

Station Eleven by Emily St.  John Mandel

This has been a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  It takes place in a world that has been decimated by a pandemic and follows a troupe of actors as they travel around putting on plays in this world.