5* Review: 2° – Bev Prescott

Just a fictional story or a very real glimpse of a dystopian future?

Only time will tell whether this brilliantly crafted Cli-Sci novel is closer to the truth than society realises.

2° delivers a gripping trip into a world ravished by climate change, where deadly weather events and food scarcity mean survival is the only aim of the game, and suffering is par for the course.

Set in 2092, in what was once the United States of America, this epic action-adventure story starts with the pedal to the metal and rarely lets up on the gas.

The main protagonist, Sharon, and her sick wife, Eve, are on a mission to obtain the medicine that continues to keep Eve alive.

As they near their destination, disaster strikes as the couple become separated when Eve is kidnapped. With a jaded view of the remnants of society, Sharon doggedly holds onto the hope of rescuing Eve in order to overcome the bleakness of humanity, and the dangers of Mother Nature, as both forcefully pound away at her psyche.

“Sharon shuddered at the reality that Earth, when angered, could be a monster that easily chewed and devoured the things made by humans.”

Bev Prescott, 2°

But all is not as it first seems, and as secrets worth killing for come to light, the stakes for Sharon, Eve, and indeed the future of humanity continue to spiral as hard decisions have to be made; ones that are not without consequences.

It becomes clear whilst in pursuit of Eve, that in order for both her wife and the world to survive, Sharon must re-evaluate her own humanity and open her heart to connection and the possibility of redemption.

The author has crafted 2° in a distinct manner, so that the reader only ever sees the story unfold from Sharon’s perspective. As a result, we learn about Eve only through Sharon’s own thoughts, feelings and memories of her wife. And whilst Eve is largely not on the page (having been kidnapped towards the start of the story), this style of storytelling ultimately really does suit the overall narrative. As Sharon battles to save her wife, we truly do feel their love flow across the void.

“The thing we need more than food, water or shelter is love. Just keep following your heart.”

Bev Prescott, 2°

With a stellar cast of supporting characters, from Inu – the young refugee boy Sharon unexpectedly finds herself responsible for – to the enigmatic Woody and the evil Strelitzia, Prescott keeps this story action packed throughout. And with a plot twist that is likely to hoodwink most readers right at the very last moment, Prescott as the saying goes – saves the best (of her writing) till last.

This is an impressive read which merges the brutalness of Earth’s potential (likely) future trajectory, with the hope of technological advances, which are the bread and butter of science fiction stories. Add in Sharon’s morality and desperation to save her wife at any cost, and this is a story which quickly becomes impossible to put down.

I received a free copy of this book from Bywater Books in exchange for an honest review.

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