40 pages 1 hour read

Blake Crouch


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Symbols & Motifs

Effects of Climate Change

The tension for much of the novel’s action centers on the dire climate challenges humanity must come to terms with. The novel imagines a world not too distant from our own in which the effects of climate change are undeniable. A few notable examples in the text include the scarcity of real fish and other foods, the devastation from unprecedented wildfires, the disappearance of Lake Mead, and, most dramatically, the permanently flooded Lower Manhattan. The latter example aligns with the belief that an unmitigated rise in sea level will eventually flood coastal areas, thereby turning now habitable areas into abandoned tracts of land entirely submerged in water. By locating these sites of devastation at recognizable American landmarks and using visually striking descriptions, Crouch paints a realistic picture of climate change that escalates the urgency of Logan’s mission.

Scientific and Technological Innovations of the Near Future

Crouch litters the text with casual references to scientific and technological innovations that do not seem farfetched. Miriam’s experiment to make crops hardier, a plan that backfires horribly, is a genetic modification. Her designs to upgrade the human genome are likewise scientifically innovative, if somewhat misguided. As for technological innovations, examples include the ubiquitous electric vehicles, super search engines, trains that travel at the speed of sound, and upgraded polygraphs.