Doyle achieves a rich, multifaceted portrayal of the Hibernaculum through intricate illustrations of its architecture and descriptions from the eyes of Megan and the Ferryman. In the beginning, where Seth laid his insights about synthetic hibernation and its possible positive effects on a dying world, the plot thickens once the enigma of its possible effects on humans is hinted at in Yumi's dream diaries. Doyle guides readers through the complexities of the story and its implications by providing outsider and insider viewpoints, as well as in teasing the inherent tension of what's in store for the Sleepers once they wake up. This approach is provocative, occasionally satirical, and will appeal to fans of thoughtful, literary-minded science fiction, though it demands attentive reading.
Although Doyle's writing is spare on character development and emotional grip, he touches upon the diversity of motivations people surrender to and the wonders and possibilities biomedical facilities could do. The story ends more eerie than it started, giving the whole a decidedly cinematic feel as it plumbs pressing questions about life and its value in the Anthropocene. Doyle has hit on something rare: an original approach to climate fiction.
Takeaway: Inventive, provocative novel probing what humanity owes the Earth.
Comparable Titles: Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes, OMar El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A