Sally Fernandez,
(Dunham Books, 2016)

This is definitely a fast-paced thriller with an international reach.

Unfortunately, Climatized is so fast-paced that it skips over many of the details necessary to make sense of the convoluted story. I like a nice twisty plot as much as anyone, but it needs to make sense -- both in the moment and after finishing the novel -- and author Sally Fernandez does not pull this off.

Her characters are caricatures who behave randomly, at the behest of the plot. Max is a vapid, unengaging protagonist, and despite her -- and Fernandez's -- conviction that she's All That, she frequently acts like an idiot. I guess it's not fair to single out Max, though; all the characters act like idiots on a regular basis.

The writing is poor, even unto word usage. While many words chosen are technically correct, the author seems ignorant of actual usages. Does anyone actually "straddle" a dish of pasta? Can a calling card be "omnipresent," or does the author mean "ubiquitous"?

Fernandez needs to read more and capture words and their nuances in the wild rather than relying on dictionaries and thesauruses, because technically not incorrect but "off" language often throws the reader totally out of the story. These are only two examples; there are many, many more.

It's also worth noting that Max receives a HUGE bouquet of edelweiss, large enough to conceal the face of the deliverer. This small alpine flower is about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, on stems roughly 8 inches long. It is not physically possible to make a HUGE bouquet of edelweiss. (Our author was entranced by the pun -- "edelweiss" apparently means "noble," which is the name of Max's lover.)

Finally, the basic premise of this novel is perverse. The whole idea is that climate change is a hoax, promulgated because various secret cabals are gaining infinite riches from "green" energy.

Think about it. The conventional fossil fuel industries are wildly more lucrative than renewable energy. This fact is naturally not mentioned, so the idea that global warming is a con designed only to enrich those in on the scheme has no counterbalance -- like, climate change deniers are generally funded by the fossil fuel industries they defend.

The magical hand-waving that reduces 97 percent of climate scientists who agree about human-caused global warming to 3 percent is very magical indeed, and makes no sense. The buzzword-laden descriptions of the conspiracy are worthy of any conspiracy theorist, and also make no particular sense.

Our main Big Bad is global-warming proponent Senator Erog -- see the cleverness displayed by writing Gore's name backwards?

This book is very much not recommended.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

13 January 2018

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