Ph.D. Environmental Microbiology
Thriller Sub-genre: Eco-thriller
The Simon Review
In my quest to find the ultimate climate change thriller series I have come across Annelie Wendeberg’s Climate Saga series. The series looks through the eyes of a scrappy teenage girl known as Mickaela (Micka) Capra. Micka’s life takes place not long after the effects of climate change have taken their toll. Disease and war have resulted in the reduction of the human population to approximately three million. Micka’s adventures begin when a Sequencer arrives in the small hamlet where Micka and her family reside. The Sequencers originated when a band of scientists, engineers, and historians came together to try to save what was left of the human race. The Sequencer in this case is known as Runner and he has come to take Micka on as his apprentice. One of the major roles of the Sequencers is to ultimately destroy the Brothers and Sister of the Apocalypse or the BSA, a fanatic group that feels that God wants humanity destroyed and members of the BSA are the tool to see that this happens. Sound familiar? It becomes Micka’s role to help destroy the BSA.
Micka is a complicated character. She begins the series as an apathetic, ‘I have no purpose’, and ‘I just want to die’ character, but when she is recruited for an apprenticeship with the Sequencer she finds purpose, but is still remains apathetic. As the series continues the apathy begins to wan and she eventually falls in love, but it is a long road before she gets there. The series is rather brutal and shows the worst of human depravity especially against women. Even though the main character is a teen, I do not recommend it as a Young Adult series.
So does this series live up to the standard that I require for a good climate change thriller series? Well, let’s see. First, is it a thriller and scary? I would say absolutely yes. Secondly, is the climate science sound? For the most part I would say yes, but I feel that the events that took place which resulted in Micka’s world could have easily happened even if climate change did not occur. Overpopulation and easy accessibility to any part of the world, leave us vulnerable to a pandemic that could reduce the human population enough to create significant global turmoil, which could easily erupt in severe worldwide conflict. Though it is true, climate change would make this possibility more likely. Finally, is it apolitical? This is a dystopian series, so all of the politicians and political debate on climate change is long gone, so my answer to this is yes. So the series has all the credentials of being a good climate change thriller series except for the fact that there wasn’t that much said specifically about climate change. So I would give it a B- as a climate change series and a A- as a thriller.
Fog and 1/2986 end with cliff hangers, so you will want to start from the beginning. Wendeberg didn’t end the series with a cliff hanger, but ends it in a way that it could easily continue. However, Wendeberg has moved on to other projects that are more popular, but she is still open to the possibility of continuing the series. So who knows.
Most Favorite Novel in the Series- 1/2986- because I liked the character development between Runner and Micka
Least Favorite Novel in the Series- Fog- the ending was too sad
What about the science?
Wendeberg gave up her career as an environmental microbiologist to become a full-time writer, so any science in the series should be accurate.
The Micka Technical Word in Review: Vibrio cholera- is the bacteria responsible for cholera, a disease that results in profuse diarrhea and vomiting. Extreme dehydration results in death which can occur within a few hours after symptoms occur. The bacteria lives naturally in salt or brackish water, but not all Vibrio cholera results in cholera. Only two serotypes known as O1 and O139 produce the deadly cholera toxin. The toxin works by binding to receptors on the surface of cells lining the small intestine. Activation of the receptor results in a series of biochemical reactions which triggers the opening of a protein ion channel that regulates the movement of chloride ions (Cl–) across the intestinal wall. This allows sodium ions (Na+) and water to move into the intestine which results in diarrhea and trigger vomiting.
People usually get infected with V. cholera by either eating infected shellfish or drinking untreated water. Epidemics usually occur when water purification systems are inadequate. Impoverished and war torn areas are more likely to be vulnerable to epidemics. A good example is the recent outbreak in Yemen. Flooding can result in epidemics as sewage systems can overflow into surrounding areas. Increased ocean temperatures as a result of global warming are more likely to result in increased epidemics as warm waters are favorable to bacterial growth.
“The Great Pandemic was caused by Vibrio cholerae and ended sixty-eight years ago, leaving only 1/2986th of humanity alive.’ That sentence comes easily because I have written it only yesterday, in my history finals.-1/2986
Books in the Series by Order:
Most Favorite in the series: Ice with a score of 4.35
Least Favorite in the series: 1/2986 with a score of 3.97
Based on overall ratings from Goodreads, Library Thing and Amazon (US & UK)
The clock on the wall shows 12:01.
Mickaela (Micka) Capra: A teenage sniper and warrior
Runner McCullough: Is a Sequencer that takes Micka on as an apprentice
Cacho: A Sequencer who recommended Micka to Runner
Katvar: A member of the ‘Dog people’ who saves Micka and Runner from being killed by wild dogs
Most likely somewhere in Eastern Europe
The world is coming to an end.
And all you’ve been told about it are lies. After the Great Pandemic, 1/2986th of humanity are left clawing for survival. One more death doesn’t make a difference, does it?
Micka is barely sixteen when she decides to kill herself. She doesn’t fit in, doesn’t understand people or social rules. She doesn’t even understand herself. To her, all words have flavors, and emotions come with such force that she can’t help but carve them into her skin.
Only hours before her meticulously planned suicide, she meets Runner – a mysterious stranger who makes an offer she finds hard to reject: a life far away from home as a Sequencer’s apprentice.
There are only two rules:
My index finger softly brushes the scar on the inside of my left arm, just below the elbow bend where the skin is really sensitive. I guess one could say I’m cheating, because the number there equates what’s left of humanity: 1/2986. It’s a small scar, not much bigger than my pinkie. The two thousand nine hundred and eighty-sixth has no flavour. I’m wondering about this lack of sensation since I etched the numbers into my skin a few years back. Blinking the memory away, I try to pull myself together and focus on the test.
Humanity is now a little short of 3.5 million, so if this 1/2986th of what was before, and original population size of ten billion is more or less correct. I write down the number, noticing that it took me too long to answer only one of the many questions.
Looking for a review of 1/2986? Check out:
Amazon Rating-US: 4.36 out of 5 stars based on 169 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 4.42 out of 5 stars based on 12 ratings
GoodReads Rating: 3.82 out of 5 stars based on 479 ratings
Library Thing Rating: 3.40 out of 5 stars based on 5 ratings
Total Score 3.97 (Updated 10/1/17)
My breathing is calm: my lungs know what to do before my finger pulls the trigger.
Mickaela (Micka) Capra, Cacho, and Runner McCullough
Kat: A Sequencer communications specialist
Ben: A Sequencer and pilot
Yi-Ting: Sequencer and weapons expert
Eric Vandemeer: A Sequencer that goes rogue and joins the BSA. Cacho was is mentor
Sixteen year-old Micka is rumoured to be the key to humanity’s survival. But there’s no time to care about hearsay when the Brothers and Sisters of the Apocalypse commence global genocide. Micka’s world is ruled by terror, her friends are dying. All she can do is aim, fire, reload.
They know we are two sharp shooters and something about Runner’s style told them he’s The Executor. That’s what they call him when they mock him. He doesn’t tell me when he received his battle name and who gave it to him. ‘It’s you,’ he said last night. ‘You are The Fog.’
Amazon Rating-US: 4.56 out of 5 stars based on 46 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 4.71 out of 5 stars based on 7 ratings
GoodReads Rating: 4.16 out of 5 stars based on 161 ratings
Library Thing Rating: 3.50 out of 5 stars based on 2 ratings
Total Score 4.26 (Updated 10/1017)
Listed #22 out of 42 on Goodreads Best Eco-Thriller Book List
I’m about to die.
Mickaela (Micka) Capra, Katvar, and Eric Vandemeer
Arctic region of what would be modern day Russia
A race across five thousand kilometers of ice and snow. A suicide mission to end an era of surveillance and terror.
“I wonder how people back then prepared for battle; if they found it more important to win and come out alive, or if bringing down their enemies, knowing their loved ones at home remained safe was what made them go out in the first place.
I don’t have any loved ones at home. I don’t even have a home. I don’t miss those things and never did. But should anyone ever ask me why I’m going to war against the BSA, my answer would be simple: revenge.
I cannot forgive.”
‘Because of you two, I’ve seen my ancestor’s land before it is my time to walk with them. It is a great honour to be here, to see where they roamed. I have never before seen the sea ice. Nor have any of the others.’ He bows three times and mutters a prayer. Then his expression darkens. ‘You can’t cross the ice.’
‘No fat,’ I say softly.
‘No fat,’ Irikei repeats.
Amazon Rating-US: 4.45 out of 5 stars based on 43 ratings
Amazon Rating-UK: 5.00 out of 5 stars based on 2 ratings
GoodReads Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars based on 118 ratings
Library Thing Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 1 ratings
Total Score 4.35 (Updated 10/2/17)