7.20.2022

finished reading

I'm not the biggest fan of speculative fiction.  Having said that, once I got into City of Orange I was hooked.  Beginning with an amnesiac character awakening in a desolate post-apocalyptic landscape, I wondered what I had picked up.  It's a novel about the humanity of grief, loss, acceptance, and connections.  Although much of it felt bleak, there was hope.  As the narrator pieces together his past and figures out the present, the reader is exploring this new reality with him.  Along with the memories that return, there is guilt and regret.  This is not an action-packed book; it is a thoughtful study about the will to survive.

The book was not what I expected, the ending surprised me.  And I'll be thinking about it for a while.

From the publisher:
A man wakes up in an unknown landscape, injured and alone.
 
   He used to live in a place called California, but how did he wind up here with a head wound and a bottle of pills in his pocket?

    He navigates his surroundings, one rough shape at a time. Here lies a pipe, there a reed that could be carved into a weapon, beyond a city he once lived in.

   He could swear his daughter’s name began with a J, but what was it, exactly?

    Then he encounters an old man, a crow, and a boy—and realizes that nothing is what he thought it was, neither the present nor the past.

   He can’t even recall the features of his own face, and wonders: who am I?

    Harrowing and haunting but also humorous in the face of the unfathomable, David Yoon’s City of Orange is a novel about reassembling the things that make us who we are, and finding the way home again.


Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for allowing me to rate and review this e-ARC title.

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