Format: Paperback, 277 pages
Publication: September 9, 2020 by Iguana Books
Synopsis: Four strangers from distant parts of the world struggle to survive on a planet torn apart by war, greed and disease. Living under drastically different circumstances, they are each presented with an opportunity to choose what type of world they want to live in.
Beyond What Separates Us follows these four strangers as they attempt to overcome hardships and reach their full potential. This is a story about the best and worst aspects of humanity clashing to determine not only the fate of our species but all other life on Earth.
I’m not sure if this book was supposed to be terrifying, but it was to me. Dystopian novels always have a lasting impact on me, but this one hit a bit closer to home than they usually do. This book was set closer to our current year than most I’ve read, which may have been why it spooked me as much as it did.
The book follows four strangers as they try to make the world as it is. This got a little confusing at times, but it was easy to quickly catch up and move along. I thought the four main characters would somehow meet up at one point, which didn’t happen; I think I spent a good chunk of the book waiting for them to somehow meet. The only other confusing aspect was the switch in chapters; at times, I didn’t realize the perspective had switched, which caused some slight confusion.
The character development was great. I really enjoyed watching each of them grow into a different person as the story progressed. I also really liked the majority of their interactions with other characters. Some conversations did feel forced or a little over-dramatic, but given the circumstances in which they were held, it still felt oddly normal.
There wasn’t too much tension and suspense, but I never got bored. I general feeling of tension, to me, was waiting for them to somehow cross paths; I expected it to be like your average dystopian novel. When I realized that it wasn’t going to go as I predicted, I was both a bit disappointed and relieved.
I think my favorite part about this book was that, while it was terrifying, it was also eye-opening. Granted, before the current pandemic, the entire plot-line of a disease wiping out over half the country never bothered me. I do, however, feel that it makes the book even more captivating. Unlike most dystopian novels, though, this one focused on more than just a deadly disease; it also showed the risks of war and greed. I think that was more eerie than the disease aspect.
If you’re looking for a unique dystopian novel that shows the aftermath of a world destroyed by disease, greed, and war, this is absolutely a book you need to read. It’s a fairly quick read, and even though I did find some of it slightly confusing, it was pretty easy to get back on track.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours and am voluntarily leaving a review. This did not affect my opinions in any way.
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Meet the Author
R.A Morris was raised in Ancaster, Ontario and holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University. After graduate school he spent a year teaching science in Honduras before heading back to Canada to work in the environmental sector. He has lived in the small remote community of Fort Good Hope and the territorial capital of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. He currently lives in Toronto. His first novel, Beyond What Separates Us, is a timely work of speculative fiction that offers a glimpse of what societies may look like if we continue on our path of ecological degradation.