Book reviews / Science Fiction

Book review: Winterworld

I took this book on holiday as it had sat on my shelf for awhile now, having bought it when I still read a lot of male authors. And this sort of book reminds me why, yet again, why I find some male authors just so friggin’ tiresome.

Winterworld is a post-apocalyptic future, where the world is covered in ice. Everyone is horrible and out for themselves, which is also somewhat tiresome. Every bit of action is just someone trying to kill someone else (and sometimes eat them). But of course, there is a thin layer of what feels like misogyny. The only real named woman (Cilla), is described as a liar or a bitch, is eventually betrayed by the main character and left to be raped/murdered. The other women (nameless) have similar fates suggested (eg, raping and then murder) so it’s just a bit…fucking terrible?

There is also this whole thing of getting to Mechanicsburg, where men are still men and doing manly things like make machines. They are still fucking terrible and shoot anyone who can’t wield a wrench (so its implied) which is also so tiresome.

Basically, if you take some of the worst, overdone tropes of post-civilisation novels, sprinkle on a layer of misogyny and macho bullshit, you get Winterworld. Ugh, why do these things keep getting written, it’s just so boring. I’d hate to be with these authors if there’s ever an apocalypse. There’ s no real dramatic action, just the same thing over and over again: kill the strangers or be killed by the strangers. No variation on that theme, really.

It also felt a little bit disjointed in what the main character (Scully) knew about the old world and what he didn’t. Basically, the world building felt a bit inconsistent. Also Scully turned out to be a bit of a selfish prick and after awhile, you just want him to get eaten by cannibals but he manages to scrape by.

It’s not very long, only 140 pages. Enough to read on a short roadtrip from Abu Simbel to Aswan, so it at least has that going for it. Ugh. Not going to read anymore, as there seems to be subsequent novellas. It implied something about empathy and humanity in the description and I felt that it was mostly lacking that, unless it was sticking to your menfolk and letting your women get eaten by cannibals. So much boring macho postering to ever make me want to read another one.

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