Lauren Beukes is a fantastic writer, no doubt about that. Her stories are beyond imaginative and quite often disturbing in a way that left me feeling slightly uncomfortable after reading some of them. And I'm a hardcore Stephen King fan, so that's saying quite a lot in my opinion!
I really, really enjoyed these stories. Most of them challenged the norm, or what is considered the norm, and I loved the fresh perspectives. The stories themselves are very subtle, in that they don't carry you away on a torrent of things happening. Instead they let you float along calmly, allowing you to lazily reflect on the surroundings. There's a little bit of magic in each, and most of them will remind you of a childhood tinged in the sepia tones of memory.
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The story was definitely not what I expected. I think I had a lot of preconceived notions about this book because of the cover image, which now that I've finished it, I just don't understand how it relates. While I knew this was a dystopia, the cover made me think it was going to be a YA frothy kind of dystopia. I put off reading this for the longest time because of that. What it actually turned out to be was a gritty tale of survival against all odds. Of loss and despair and just everything going tits up. The world-building was expansive and vivid, and I could clearly see this aptly named blight that had struck the world, leaving it crawling with terrifying creatures from who knows where and people just trying to survive hour by hour. Sure, it's all been done before, but "All That Remains" gets it right in it's own special way.
I'm just gonna go ahead and blame this book on the bad reading slump I've experienced these last two weeks. I mean there's not even 200 pages to this book but it literally took me two whole weeks to finish! How does that even compute?
When I received a copy of this from Netgalley, I couldn't really put it on my shelf and forget about it though, so I started reading it promptly. I went into it not knowing what to expect at all though. I mean I couldn’t quite imagine for myself where a book about unicorns would go... There’s surprisingly few books about the subject out there!