splinterlandsBook Review:  Splinterlands by John Feffer

Geo-paleontologist Julian West contemplates the state of the world — and his family — in the year 2050 and tries to piece together where it all went wrong.  The climate has changed dramatically, as has the political landscape.  Most of the countries we know today (2017) have been torn apart by internal conflict, dwindling resources, and terrorism.

Using virtual reality to visit his children and his ex-wife, West brings readers into this broken new world.  War zones and kidnappings are now the norm in Brussels.  Xinjiang prospers but is no longer part of China.  Vermont is snowless and home to a few farming communes, heavily armed and prepared to defend themselves.

Eh.  The premise is certainly timely and Feffer references plenty of recent/current events in the storyline.  I never connected with West’s character however.  He’s detached and, as the footnotes indicate, somewhat unreliable as a narrator.  So, for me this was mostly a gloom and doom read lacking emotional impact.  The only feeling I felt was a mild sense of dread as West approached each of his family members, particularly his youngest son.  There’s more going on that West reports, or perhaps is aware of himself.

Not recommended by me although other reviewers have loved it.



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