Review by Rohan O’Duill
“A generation has passed since climate change brought about the Cascade that transformed the world, smashing the tectonic plates of the political landscape and infesting the wilderness with demons and shriekgrass.“
“Jonah knew that holding power always meant drowning, that every second in office meant fighting for oxygen, with one’s enemies baying like hunting dogs on the shore. Ian, with the treacherous sea in his fisherman’s blood, must have been used to drowning.”
The character complexity in Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel Cascade is fascinating. Ian moved from a working-class fisherman’s family into being a campaigner and protestor. When he developed magical powers and the ability to see into the future, he aligned himself with the new hope in politics. But it turns out that predicting the future doesn’t mean anything in a political system that is just not fit for purpose to deal with the climate crisis. It’s a chilling observation of the struggles in today’s corridors of power. But despite the weightiness of the messaging in this climate-disaster fantasy, there is a whole lot of laugh-out-loud moments and action that keep this 400 page novel careening along.
“You go lookin’ for terrorists, you see every daft kid dreamin’ of his 72 virgins and every chinless loner prick with a case of blueballs that he blames on his ex-girlfriend.”
Ian Mallory is Malcolm Tucker with heart, and the abuse that he dishes out to confuse and divert attention from his actions is priceless. His apprentice, Sujay, is not far behind with the cutting observations, although these start out mostly in her own head before circumstances force her into the open.
What starts out as a political thriller with magic, quickly evolves into a quick-witted action-filled fantasy that explores climate change, activism, corruption, racial profiling, brutality and the chaos inflicted on the world through popular politics. This is all held together superbly through Rachel’s beautiful writing style and storytelling ability.
This is a guest book review by Rohan O’Duill who you can find on Twitter.
You must be logged in to post a comment.