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Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Although an award winner, Exodus has too many elements and too many slow parts for me to really enjoy it. Julie Bertagna weaves together a lot of elements to create this story with an almost Alice like feel.

Mara’s island is about to disappear underwater.

“In 1999, a snippet of news that should have stopped the world in its tracks caught my eye. Two South Pacific islands had disappeared under the sea.”

While still on her island Mara is able to access the remnants of this internet with a special device. One day she “falls through” the web and it occurs to her that her village much go search for another place to live.

As her journey continues Mara moves from one odd group of people to another, much like a journey through Wonderland. It takes too long for Mara to be able to move into action. She wanders between groups of people aimlessly until she is drawn up into the great city where she finally has the ability to do something. But all of her time outside the city still seems like a pointless waste of time.

‘The stories that spark my imagination are about individuals on the edge, on the cusp of change,’ says Julie. ‘But I always begin with a strong sense of a particular landscape or place. My characters and their stories are rooted in, and grow out of, that.’

This book combines a little of what I like, technology, with a lot of what I don't like, survival. Mara has to deal with a lot of loss. Although the story deals with a lot of interesting issues the multiple story layers becomes fragmented and disjointed.

Environmental impact as means of dystopia may be very realistic, but I have found it to be an over simplistic way to create a dystopia. The panic of an apocalypse creates disorder. It doesn’t have to be explained or explored. It is an easy foundation  on which to build a story.

This book is the first in a series. Normally I would not be eager to read the next book, but since I already bought it, I will probably read it sooner than I would otherwise.

Did you like this book? Tell me about it!


  1. I still haven't made it all the way through this one! I'll pick it up again at some point, but the beginning half just didn't engage me. I did start to get more into it towards the middle, but haven't pushed my way through the rest yet.


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