The Opal Octopus

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Review: Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

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Some Fine Day
by Kat Ross

Published by Angry Robot, Limited
on 2014-07-01
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
four-stars
Review: Some Fine Day by Kat Ross
Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She's smart and deadly, and knows three things with absolute certainty: 1. When the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface. 2. The only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak. 3. There's no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades. Jansin has been lied to. On all counts.

Some Fine Day is a nearish-future cli-fi YA dystopian thriller from debut novelist Kat Ross.

Jansin Nordqvist, the military-trained daughter of a general and a bioscientist, is about to graduate. Her parents decide to take her on a brief holiday to the Surface, a privilege reserved for the elite few. These trips need to planned carefully around the paths of the ravaging surface hypercanes, the super-hurricanes that now cover the Earth, driving humanity underground. But why do they need such a lot of security? And are the only humanoids on the surface the toads, slavering primate/amphibian hybrids?

Some Fine Day has a powerful and tenacious heroine, in the kickarse tradition of YA dystopians today. I love it the deft gender-flipping that we see in the climax, where (view spoiler) I found the surface scenes to be by far the most enjoyable in the book, and the abrupt transition back underground was quite disorienting – perhaps deliberately? The action of the climax is intense and driving, leaving the ending perhaps a touch abrupt. I’m hoping there will be a sequel one day?

I did have a few little niggles, some of which were a *shrug* and others of which were basic to the world-building, and therefore distracting. The book could have done with some science-picking: I’m cool with semi-magical nanomedicine, but that’s not how collagen works! And urine production is how you know your kidneys are working, not lack of dysuria. How can a hypercane possibly stay completely stationary for long periods of time? And why do the people who’ve lived underground for decades care so much about the Hypercane Network on TV – the 24-hour Weather Channel for a place they’re never likely to see?

Some Fine Day is, despite the niggles, a worthwhile read, and I would definitely pick up a sequel.

We haven’t always lived like this. Most historians call it the Transition. It happened a while ago, when my parents were just little kids. And it happened fast.
The seas warmed past fifty degrees, and hypercanes or superstorms or whatever you want to call them began to form, and instead of eventually losing strength and going away they got bigger and stuck around. Some of them are the size of continents now.
So a decision was made to go underground. But there wasn’t room for everyone. Not even for most.
That’s why some call it the Culling.

Jake listens politely as my mother talks a little about her work. She helps run the massive cryobanks where they keep thousands of plant and animal species frozen for rejuvenation someday, everything from grizzly bears to brain coral. It’s still only a tiny fraction of the life that once existed on the surface, but better than nothing. Her specialty is food grains, and she spends most of her time experimenting with different varieties to see which ones do best in underground growing conditions.
Then my father shares a long look with Jake and clears his throat.
“I have a very exciting announcement.” His eyes are sparkling, and so are Jake’s. “We’re going up.”
“Up?” I’m confused. “Upstairs?”
My father laughs. “A little farther than that.”
I don’t know what to say.
“The surface, honey. We’re going to the surface.”
[…]
Who’s the goon squad?” Jake asks as we settle into our seats.
“Mandatory,” my father says.
“That’s a lot of firepower they’re packing.”
“Toads have been known to take a big hit and keep coming.”
“Toads? I thought they stayed at the pole.”
“They do. Usually.”

 

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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