Catastrophic Experiments : The Carol of the Reactors by Vishal Suchak

  • Title : The Carol of the Reactors (The Earthling Trilogy #1)
  • Author : Vishal Suchak
  • Book Type : Novel
  • Genre : Dystopian Fiction, Apocalypse, SciFi
  • Edition : Paperback (Advance Copy)
  • Publisher : Vitamin-B (An imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
  • Year of Publication : 2019
  • Number of Pages : 270

— Blurb of the Book —

Exacting a terrible price, the nuclear apocalypse divided humankind into two: mutated and untainted. Kilia & Josh, child counsellors for the United Nations, are tasked with telling this horrible truth to tween-agers. Yet forced to lie about their own feelings for each other. Despite the UN’s efforts, life is harsh for Mutants and an underground resistance has sprung to life in the Quarantine Zone.

Untainted humans living in the safety and comfort of a terrarium, most of them migrant volunteers, remain blissfully unaware of things to come. Under the watchful eyes of the Chief Administrator, life at the UN mission in Diablo Valley unfolds in mundane quietude.

But then, the universe begins to conspire.

Paying homage to counterculture, The Carol of the Reactors blends SciFi, suspense and philosophy in the dystopia of an alternate reality. Placed with pop-culture, real world contemporary and historical references, this novel speculates on the future of humanity in the face of climate change, our dependence on technology and the fears that accompany it.

Lady Bookamore‘s Views —

First and foremost, I thank the author for giving me an opportunity to review his debut work of fiction, that too a SciFi & Dystopian Trilogy based on the theme of nuclear activity.

The Carol of the Reactors is the first book in The Earthling series, which revolves around the survival of mankind in a post-post-apocalyptic world where nuclear contamination has divided human civilization into the untainted and the mutated. It’s been quite a long time since I last watched an apocalyptic movie. What stands out in this book is the very title, as well as the various revelations which are timed so perfectly in the course of the novel. By the way, did you check out my review of Sacrifice by Ameya Kale? That’s yet another apocalyptic fiction I loved reading this year!

The first reason why I enjoyed reading The Carol of the Reactors Is the very theme itself. I have come across quite a few books and films which deal with the events that lead to an apocalyptic event. However, The Carol of the Reactors focuses on what happens next; in other words, it emphasises on the events that take place after the apocalypse has already set in. This actually reminds me of one such movie I had seen, The Island by Michael Bay, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. But, don’t worry. This book is poles apart from the film’s storyline. The Carol of the Reactors talks about how in a post-post-apocalyptic world, segregation still remains as a way for peaceful coexistence. Secondly, the events that occur in the novel have been structured brilliantly. In fact, I admire how well the author has crafted the plot and has put in all the plot twists in the best possible turns of the novel. Thirdly, the characterisation has been done in a unique manner. The characters of The Carol of the Reactors have been presented as “Decks of Tropes” in the novel. The author visualises these characters as representatives of different tropes in the novel. These tropes include unrequited love, a relationship of consummated love, the backstory of survivors, and the list goes on. Fourthly, the language plays an important role in the novel. The prologue to The Carol of the Reactors begins in medias res, and the sudden adjustment to a revelation is indeed quite difficult for any reader. However, the knots begin to get untied from Chapter 1, that too at a languid pace. Yes, the gradual movement neither overwhelms the reader’s patience, nor does it slacken the pace of the narration.

However, one thing I didn’t like about the book is the unnecessary usage of hashtags. Though the book does have a handful of pop culture references, the incessant usage of hashtags does become monotonous at one point.

Yet, I am glad that the author had taken up the theme of environmental awareness, though it is based on nuclear contamination. A dystopian society where humans are segregated into the untainted and the mutated have one important message to convey — the need to safeguard the planet and in turn the human civilization. I convey my regards to the author for his future endeavours.

Lady Bookamore rates this book 💙💙💙💙.5/5

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