This is one hell of a confusing (but good!) story

Written by
Jennifer Marie Brissett in 2014

You’ll be forgiven if after reading the first chapter of Elysium, you wonder what the hell is going on, and whether you’ve inhaled something a bit kooky. Fear not, fellow traveller, for I had that same feeling.

The reason for all the confusion, is the constant reimagining of characters, though always through the central themes of love and survival. The main characters are Antoine/Antoinette and Adrian/Adrianne, who go through several iterations of different relationships. They’re either lovers, husband and wife or parent and child.

What is obvious though, is that the story is told through the view of an artificial intelligence, as some of the data it stores has been damaged. It’s not quite clear who’s telling the story, until you reach the end, when the characters become less dynamic, prone to change, and more real.

You see, the Earth has been invaded by some sort of alien race, and in the fight against them, humanity has been decimated. The AI is the ultimate message in a bottle, left by us, as a testament to our struggles. Thus, the various iterations of characters, as they fight for each other, in different scenarios, always searching and hoping to understand what was going on.

Elysium is definitely an interesting book, but it is always filled with emotion and poignancy. It twists and turns, leaving you feeling as confused as the AI (which is probably the point), but for some reason, you won’t want to put the book down. It’s strangely engrossing, as you start to pick up on the rhythm of the constantly changing names, genders and situations the book places its story in. This is the author’s first book, and I just hope she keeps going.

Rating

An astoundingly good debut novel from Jennifer Marie Brissett

Read this if you…

Liked and understood episodes 25 and 26 of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Don’t read this if you…

Need lots of pew pew in science fiction

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