Book Review: The Book of Etta

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Title: The Book of Etta

Author: Meg Elison

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 314

My Rating: 3.5/5

Plot Summary: The main character of this novel lives in a future where a plague has completely changed the world, greatly reducing the number of women and making childbearing dangerous.  The world is now composed of small pockets of life cut off from each other and unaware of how others are living.  Etta brings us on her journeys scavenging items from other areas and saving girls from slavers, which she finds as her calling in life.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book, but didn’t realize until the end that it was a sequel to a previous book.  This was not clear from the cover, and was only in one small area inside the book that I did not notice when I picked it up.  The main character of the first book in this series is actually referenced in the story and she has written her own book that is read by the people who live in Etta’s village.  I believe if you read the first book it would make this book much clearer, but I didn’t.  I still did find this book to be an enjoyable read, however not for the reasons I expected.  I was interested in the story of how people were living and surviving after this plague, but instead the book focused more on how the plague affected things like gender identity. Etta is struggling in a world where women are sacred, but she identifies as a man.  This theme runs throughout the book, and kept me interested to see what the characters would do in their own individual situations.  There was violence throughout this novel as we follow Etta along in her journey seeing how various villages are handling the plague differently.  However, I would have preferred a post-apocalypse story like I expected! I’ll have to find one of those to read soon… Leave a recommendation if you have one.  At this time I don’t know if a third book is going to be released in this series, but it seems like there is one planned. I would recommend this book if you are interested in reading about a post-apocalyptic world where the main changes are to gender roles and expression of gender.

Have you read The Book of Etta or The Book of the Unnamed Midwife?

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