“The earth is 4.54 billion years old,” said Kit. “Humans have been around for 200,000 years. The planet could blink and miss us. Our extinction would be a return to the status quo.”
Electric Kingdom by David Arnold is a bit of a mind-bender and I admit, there’s a few chapters that I went back to reread just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. This is a book that I’ll be reflecting on and thinking about for quite some time.
The entire world construct that Mr. Arnold developed is both beautiful and tragic, his writing is gorgeous and insightful, deep and meaningful. The setting is in a post-apocalyptic world with only a smattering of people left behind after a devastating Fly Flu/killer flies devastated the world. One of these people and the main narrator is Nico, she and her dog, Harry travel from their farmhouse, away from her rapidly declining father and recently deceased mother to find a portal that she thought was only a fairytale. Along her journey she meets friends, each with a story of their own but strangely interwoven. The Fly Flu that began the apocalypse is pretty terrifying, especially in light of recent events – pandemics and killer wasps – so yeah, there’s a realistic feel to what could potentially happen. There are some huge twists in the story and this is where the mind-bending comes in. It’s done cleverly and in a way that left me feeling incredibly sad yet strangely hopeful, too.
Mr. Arnold illustrates the beauty of human nature; the potential and ability of most people to step up and care for others in the toughest of times which gave the story an extraordinary quality. There’s a uniqueness and originality to this story which really resonated with me. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before; making it really hard to put down and leading to some late-night page-turning and binge reading when I should have been doing other things - SOML.
Electric Kingdom has introduced me to a new author, David Arnold and I’ll be picking up whatever he writes. I’d recommend this to any fan of science fiction, dystopian fiction or young adult fantasy.