Ghost Country Review- Patrick Lee
I picked up Ghost Country because it seemed like an interesting dystopian type novel. I have always loved novels that explore what life would be like after the world has come to an end. There are many different ways this has been done and I was very interested to see what angle this book would take. Disease? War? Some nature event? In the end it was none of these but a new, kind of complicated, idea.
This is the second novel of Patrick Lee. I have not read the first one, The Breach, but I was able to follow the story line regardless. Though I am sure it would explain better what The Breach is and what the entities that come through it really are.
In this novel an entity comes through, two black seemingly plain cylinders. When turned on they give a glimpse into a future seventy plus years from the present. A future that is desolate and dead. Travis gets dragged into a fight to find out what happened and how to stop the events that lead to the destruction of the planet. It is a constant, on the run adventure to get away from the corrupt leaders while working towards saving the world.
Normally when I read it is the characters that I fall in love with. Strong interesting personalities are what usually keep me turning the pages. This novel was very different. The characters were decent but they were not what kept me invested in the story. It was purely the plot that held me captive. Lee slowly reveals the details of what happens in the future and why the world has ended. Each revelation takes you an inch closer. You don’t get an information cascade pushing you off the cliff and into the whole dilemma. You get small pieces that give you more questions until you have all the pieces and fully comprehend what has transpired. As if you were actually part of this race for answers.
I liked getting pushed further and further into the story but the descriptions used sometimes took me out of the story. The descriptions of where people were standing or how they were looking were very precise and, too me, a little over complicated. Such as, “They moved east across the southern span of the building,” (Lee, pg 205). He uses very specific directions that I had a lot of trouble envisioning. It felt very military and scientific and unfortunately that isn’t how my brain functions.
The reason for the destruction of the world is a very different, very scientific idea. It is an idea I had never even heard about. It is a little bit hard to comprehend if you don’t have a good grasp of science, but you can get the basics of it and it still makes you squirm a little thinking about what it could mean in the context of our world. What happens when a seemingly good, save the world, idea goes horribly wrong.
Ghost Country is a chilling tale of what a few high powered people can do if they put their minds and effort into it. Though the characters don’t remain with you, the plot and revelations will, making you wonder and ponder what is all means at the very end.