Book Review: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Sea of Tranquility
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Published: April 5, 2022
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
A novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal–an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
What a fascinating book. I bought it on a whim and while it had its small bit of annoying idealism, I truly enjoyed reading it. I’m liking this multi-timeline trend. Not the historical fiction, lady walking away on the cover kind, but this sci-fi kind. And this one added a thread that is definitely unique. While it had some of those typical factors that are oh so overplayed, the overall product felt like something I hadn’t read before. And considering how technical some of the concepts were, I still felt like I knew what was going on. I enjoyed this book! Will I read it again? Probably not, but it’s definitely worth the read!