Book Review: Severance by Ling Ma

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Severance by Ling Ma is the first book that I finished this year! I picked it up because I generally love anything sci-fi, and the genre-defying combination of apocalyptic zombies and office drama was intriguing. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed getting to know Candace Chen. Her inner turmoil about the death of her immigrant parents, her seeming lack of direction in life contrasted with her extreme inherent work ethic, and her deteriorating romantic life feel all encompassing even in the face of a rapidly spreading epidemic called Shen Fever. New York City, and the rest of the world, quickly falls into disarray. Those effected, the “fevered” aren’t zombies in the traditional sense, but instead continue to live out their daily tasks and routines as they mindlessly waste away. Ma forces readers to confront the realities of mass consumerism, how truly connected we are globally, and how Americans love to feel removed from the consequences of capitalism. I enjoyed this book: the writing was eloquent, and the authors intentions were clear, but I have to admit that the ending left a lot to be desired, and overall the story didn’t feel well thought out. Still worth a read if you want to feel even more distressed about the state of humanity than you probably already are (#jk #sorta). But really, it truly is a book with a lot of heart that I think is worth the read!