Stormland

John Shirley. Blackstone, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-09-401782-2
With this gripping dystopian novel, Shirley (Eclipse) extrapolates a grim vision of a late-21st-century U.S. wracked by climate change. Former U.S. Marshal Darryl Webb is now a world-weary freelance tracker hired to find a missing serial killer believed to be in Stormland, a 400-mile stretch of devastated southeast U.S. coastline. Some 2,000 squatters live in the ruins of Charleston, inhabiting lawless, flooded enclaves—among them an eerie pseudo-religious cult, a gang of drug dealers, scavenger-refugees, and Gerald Fogle, Webb’s quarry. But Gerald, who’s been medically mind-altered with “Neuro-Cellular Behavioral Modification,” is a new man. No longer the killer he was, he now devotes his time to altruistically helping Stormland’s suffering people. Threads involving “experiencers” who install mind-control implants to drive their doomed victims for their own heinous entertainment and a pharmaceutical executive who finds redemption from his destructive greed propel the intricate, action-filled plot as Webb comes to find meaning in his life. Howling super-hurricanes, grisly torture scenes, and the horrors of scientific experimentation on human brains make for harrowing reading. This is a sober warning about the seductive dangers of power. Agent: Jennifer Goloboy, Donald Maass Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/13/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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