I need to read more science fiction. I keep telling myself this, and then keep steering away from picking up anything from within the genre. I found this book in among the pile of those that publishers throw at us, in the hopes of garnering a beneficial review. From what I remember, the bright colors and slim spine is what caught my eye here, and the fact that it was not only science fiction but had been marketed as a story that would “resonate with LGBTQ+ readers” sealed the deal for me. I’m still trying here. Trying to find good story in science fiction. Good story from marginalized authors. I can’t say that I’ve succeeded much yet though. Maybe someone else out there has a decent suggestion?
UNITY is the debut novel of author Elly Bangs and it focuses on a concept that is interesting, if not entirely unique: the idea of multiple people becoming one “greater” being.
Danae is an instance of one of these greater beings, and is in her own way, unique. She’s been living in Bloom City, deep under the ocean, waiting for the time when she needs to return to the surface and reunite with the rest of who she is. She doesn’t want to involve her current boyfriend, but it’s fairly obvious that he’s not going to let her out of his sights, if it means that he can help her… and maybe himself… along the way. There’s a reason why so much of the population of Earth now lives beneath the surface of the ocean though. The land is inhospitable and dry, destroyed by climate change caused by the poor choices that humans have made and is ruled by mob-like superpowers that are constantly at war. It’s a tenuous balance, and one that is due for a fight. In order to help them make the journey, these two tech junkies will hire an ex-merc turned soldier-for-hire, Alexei, that has issues of his own with regard to his desire to stay in the land of the living.
The story bounces back and forth between Danae and Alexei. Danae is running from the mob-boss that rules Bloom City, and Alexei has just returned from a job where he was hired by that same mob-boss to off a powerful rival. With those that help, and those that hinder, Danae’s journey up out of the ocean, and then across an arid land similar to something in a Mad Max movie, is constantly fraught with avoiding the next disaster.
Writing-wise, this was pretty decent. The author does a good job of setting the scene, and relaying important character along the way. The story is split into four parts. The first under the water. The second, across the dusty land. The third, I felt, was completely pointless, as it relays the backstory of a character that merges with Danae to become part of her “collective”. It didn’t move the story along at all, and really ground things to a halt. The fourth and final section details arriving at her destination, and the revelations that come with finally finding her way “home”.
The decently engaging story of a young girl that is more than just a girl trying to make it back to the combined consciousness she calls home
I can’t say that I was much enamored of the ending. It seemed rather esoteric in it’s nature, and dealt mostly with the intricacies of the ideas surrounding the central concept of combining multiple people into a single whole. While driven by characters and events that enjoyed their time in the spotlight, I can say that I liked this one just enough to hit that “like” level, and was annoyed by section three and the ending just enough to pull it down into a “like and hate”.
However, given the choice of reading a book like this or one that’s completely mediocre, I’ll take something like this any day.
- Recommended Age: 16+
- Language: Strong but infrequent
- Violence: Decent amount of short-term violence, but not much gore
- Sex: Some aftermath and one... untraditional detailed scene