I was initially drawn to this by the cover which fascinated me and it's true what they say 'You can never tell a book by its cover', yet something pulled me to it and I had no idea what to expect. I have to say I'm not normally into the scifi/futuristic genre, probably because I don't have such a highly honed imagination. As I read I wanted to know what was hidden behind the door – is that not a human need. For me this book keeps the intrigue of what lies beyond with an assumption of what the world, long since destroyed, was like in front of the door, asking ‘are things always what they seem?’
I haven't been this enthralled since I first watched the film Blade Runner, Liz Monument is such an atmospherically accomplished writer. This is writing of a different class. I am often disappointed by attempts to write about the world after the apocalypse, but here we have exquisite detail that is plausible for this new world where Jess Green is an empath with a hidden past, assigned to the Unit to help with crime scenes – it’s clever futuristic scenes of crime investigation and techniques. What has intrigued me is the backward view of the Old World that subtly questions our ordinary everyday things/processes that we currently take for granted. It’s almost a parody of what we prize in retro/antiques now; in the new world glass becomes the prized commodity sewn onto expensively priced haute couture. Who would have thought that real animal meat and champagne rescued in glass bottles to be a sign of the wealthy?
Fascinated as I was by the story I lost myself in the exceptional detail, the characterisation of humans, droids, shifters and other genetically modified beings both accidental and deliberate compelled me to read this slowly to saver every detail. Of course, in this world longevity is the ultimate prize, hence the title, as is maintaining youthful looks. The sinister part is how this can be achieved in the search for Eternity. This is just begging to be made into a film!
Jess tries to piece her life together and we end up with a lot of unanswered questions. I don’t give endings away but I love this one with the promise of more to come – I hope so! Pat McDonald British Crime author.