Hot Best Seller

Walk the Vanished Earth

Availability: Ready to download

In the tradition of Station Eleven, Severance and The Dog Stars, a beautifully written and emotionally stirring dystopian novel about how our dreams of the future may shift as our environment changes rapidly, even as the earth continues to spin. The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, a In the tradition of Station Eleven, Severance and The Dog Stars, a beautifully written and emotionally stirring dystopian novel about how our dreams of the future may shift as our environment changes rapidly, even as the earth continues to spin. The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet--Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to-if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet. A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet's imminent collapse. This is a story about the end of the world--but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.


Compare

In the tradition of Station Eleven, Severance and The Dog Stars, a beautifully written and emotionally stirring dystopian novel about how our dreams of the future may shift as our environment changes rapidly, even as the earth continues to spin. The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, a In the tradition of Station Eleven, Severance and The Dog Stars, a beautifully written and emotionally stirring dystopian novel about how our dreams of the future may shift as our environment changes rapidly, even as the earth continues to spin. The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet--Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to-if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet. A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet's imminent collapse. This is a story about the end of the world--but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.

30 review for Walk the Vanished Earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ellery Adams

    When I first started this book, I had no idea what it was about. From the first, it was like walking through a museum. Every chapter was like a painting from a different period. Some bits were flat-out weird but still wonderful. I hadn’t realized that I was reading climate fiction until I was well into it, and the plot was both scary and beautiful. The whole book was filled with contrasts, and certain scenes stuck with me long after I finished.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Presley

    Erin Swan's novel (debut I believe?) is an ambitious piece of fiction. The story is told through the eyes of different people within different generations (and the table of contents reflects that). I'm going to discuss, hopefully without spoilers, some of the pros and cons of the book. Pros: Beautiful writing. In spite of the fact that this was a post-apocolyptic/dystopia book it read like an actual fiction genre novel. Relationships, both the good and bad, mental illness, physical disability, an Erin Swan's novel (debut I believe?) is an ambitious piece of fiction. The story is told through the eyes of different people within different generations (and the table of contents reflects that). I'm going to discuss, hopefully without spoilers, some of the pros and cons of the book. Pros: Beautiful writing. In spite of the fact that this was a post-apocolyptic/dystopia book it read like an actual fiction genre novel. Relationships, both the good and bad, mental illness, physical disability, and more are addressed with a gentle hand. Nothing seems too far out there in terms of the science fiction element of the novel and that really works well in maintaining the overall flow of the book. Cons: The first con I have is a bit of a pro and a con. I appreciate the diversity that Erin has brought into her novel through characters from different backgrounds/origins/ethnicities. That said, I always cringe a bit when I see white authors take these backgrounds on. Thankfully, I couldn't see any co-opting of specific cultures in terms of the actions, but I did feel a bit on edge anytime I saw a reference to a specific Ojibwe legend appearing. Is it worth a read? Definitely. Just bear in mind where the author is coming from and what choices she has made in bringing specific elements into her story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ginni

    A gentle, fantastic (in the true sense of the word) novel spanning seven generations and two planets, Walk the Vanished Earth kept me guessing and engaged all the way through. It's a story of survival, both on the individual level and the survival of the human race. Erin Swan's prose is beautiful, her characters vivid and compelling. But... This whole review is going to have spoilers, I just don't see a way around it. (view spoiler)[The execution just doesn't live up to the writing. My main compla A gentle, fantastic (in the true sense of the word) novel spanning seven generations and two planets, Walk the Vanished Earth kept me guessing and engaged all the way through. It's a story of survival, both on the individual level and the survival of the human race. Erin Swan's prose is beautiful, her characters vivid and compelling. But... This whole review is going to have spoilers, I just don't see a way around it. (view spoiler)[The execution just doesn't live up to the writing. My main complaints: The unexplained supernatural elements feel jarring against the backdrop of what is in other ways more of an environmental treatise. I'm also not sure why they were even included. Generations of this family dream the same dream pointing them to Mars, and in the end, going to Mars doesn't actually benefit the human race in any way. So was their vision just a big liar or what? And how do they get to Mars anyway, living as they are in the wreckage of civilization? Then they implant genetically modified embryos into several subjects, and the embryos end up being some kind of weird super-humans, and the explanation is that it's an accidental result of their trying to modify the embryos for Mars' atmosphere. In real life, mistakenly modified genes give you cancer, not superpowers. Also: It's clearly an alternative timeline, given that New Orleans didn't disappear in 2017, but that's not made apparent immediately. So for a good while I kept trying to figure out how we were going to get from present-day climate change--which is alarming, but for the most part doesn't occupy everyone's every waking thought--to total planetary submersion in just a few years. The answer is kind of glossed over with a shrug. In this timeline, everything just floods, the end. It feels like it's trying to make an environmental statement, but it falls flat because that's not actually the environment we live in. Why not set it farther in the future and make a more convincing road from point A to point B? (hide spoiler)] Maybe scientific accuracy is beside the point and I should just enjoy it for the pretty fever dream that it is. But it feels like I'm supposed to both take this as a factual scientific warning AND a fantasy. I think one or the other could have worked. (I received this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    I’ve always enjoyed books that aren’t just post-apocalyptic but also shows the descent. Another reviewer described this book as ambitious, and I agree. The scope is tremendous, spanning centuries. But despite this huge scope, this is ultimately a family story which kept it grounded. This could have been a five star book for me—it’d be a good option for a reread in the future—but I found the pacing a little funky: some parts felt rushed while others dragged on.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Peter J

    What even was that? The best book I’ve read in years! Walk the Vanished Earth is a book about change, a book about telling unique stories, and a book about human ambition gone wrong. Though it has many sci-fi elements and certainly tells a tale of post-apocalyptic survival, it is primarily a work of literary fiction with a family saga at its core. WTVE is also a novel partly about climate change, and Swan’s altered timeline heightens the urgency of a very real issue. The author seems to be sayin What even was that? The best book I’ve read in years! Walk the Vanished Earth is a book about change, a book about telling unique stories, and a book about human ambition gone wrong. Though it has many sci-fi elements and certainly tells a tale of post-apocalyptic survival, it is primarily a work of literary fiction with a family saga at its core. WTVE is also a novel partly about climate change, and Swan’s altered timeline heightens the urgency of a very real issue. The author seems to be saying, “This is happening now! Pay attention!” This bold debut takes the reader on a journey to discover Mars but also to discover the self and that self’s place in a world that is very quickly falling to bits. The stylish prose and fresh approach to storytelling are mirrored in the stories told by the many characters that persist in walking the vanished earth. Five stars! Pick this book up and read it. It’s important.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Evie

    I’ve no idea what I just listened to, but it was amazing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Carvalho

    Read this if you like: Different POVs and timelines, Dystopian reads I loved this book. First, I can't believe it's a debut. It's so well written, so different from other things I have read. This is a Dystopian novel about the end of the world. But it is so much more than that. We are following four different people in four different timelines. In the year 1873 a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. In the year 1975, and an adolescent girl named B Read this if you like: Different POVs and timelines, Dystopian reads I loved this book. First, I can't believe it's a debut. It's so well written, so different from other things I have read. This is a Dystopian novel about the end of the world. But it is so much more than that. We are following four different people in four different timelines. In the year 1873 a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. In the year 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains. She is pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion. She lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. In the year 2027 after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. Lastly, in the year 2073 Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet--Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to. She's never had an example of a mother. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet. Wow. Just wow. This blew me away. I loved how the story was told. The character development was well done. The story is both sad and beautiful. This tackles harsh subjects like mental health, climate change, and more. I will say that I could have done without the Moon timeline/storyline all together. It didn't do much for me. Everything else was amazing and I flew through it. Highly recommend! Thank you to Viking Books/Penguin Random House for the gifted copy! ❤️

  8. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    Dystopian, environmental changes, altering time line! I predict a hit!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    I was really surprised to see how high the reviews were for this. It's not terrible by any means, but I found it incredibly frustrating. It's an intriguing premise but the execution just didn't work for me at all. Jumping around from one time period to the next, swinging back to Moon and then jumping back again. I'm all for books about stories, and the importance of stories, but that was a big problem here. Every person felt like characters in a story, not real people I should care about. I thin I was really surprised to see how high the reviews were for this. It's not terrible by any means, but I found it incredibly frustrating. It's an intriguing premise but the execution just didn't work for me at all. Jumping around from one time period to the next, swinging back to Moon and then jumping back again. I'm all for books about stories, and the importance of stories, but that was a big problem here. Every person felt like characters in a story, not real people I should care about. I think my final verdict is that if it's on your tbr list, keep it there, but don't feel bad about moving it down a few notches.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    7 generations, 2 planets and calamitous climate change events. I was engaged throughout. and there are some parts of the story I would really enjoy discussing including the implications of the events on Earth vs Mars as well as the Mars specific story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nichole Aber

    ***I won an ARC through Goodreads giveaways*** Beautiful debut novel! Well crafted overlapping stories and thoughtful character development. Brings cautionary sci-fi to life in a plausible near-future scenario without being preachy. Despite some jarring, unnecessary references to male genetalia and Eva's story which also felt unnecessary, I really enjoyed this book. ***I won an ARC through Goodreads giveaways*** Beautiful debut novel! Well crafted overlapping stories and thoughtful character development. Brings cautionary sci-fi to life in a plausible near-future scenario without being preachy. Despite some jarring, unnecessary references to male genetalia and Eva's story which also felt unnecessary, I really enjoyed this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    4.2 An interesting read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peishan Bartley

    This is an unusual book. There's plenty of ugliness in the story. There are some tender moments and beauty in it too. I do love how the stories were told, and I love how the characters were developed. I read it, and I finished it without picking up another book in the duration, which is a rare feat for me these days and is a testament to the writing. Some books are written for pure enjoyment. Thrill ride, fluffy cotton candy like fun, or something silly to let the readers escape reality for howe This is an unusual book. There's plenty of ugliness in the story. There are some tender moments and beauty in it too. I do love how the stories were told, and I love how the characters were developed. I read it, and I finished it without picking up another book in the duration, which is a rare feat for me these days and is a testament to the writing. Some books are written for pure enjoyment. Thrill ride, fluffy cotton candy like fun, or something silly to let the readers escape reality for however long the book lasted. Some books are written to provoke thoughts or to examine a theme. It may be about survival, or family dynamics, or about hope. It was clear that this book does not belong in the first camp, but I also can't quite tell what theme it's meant to explore. Is it human resilience? The effect of climate change? The want to survive? This is also not a comforting book. It unsettles. Maybe that's the purpose? There is a supernatural thread that ran throughout the story, but I don't think it's needed. It's not a story about "the chosen one", and the "prophecy" has no import. Take it away and the story still flows. Great writing nonetheless.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Valenziano

    This is a science fiction book but reads better as a general novel. I was intrigued by the mute mother and the family relationships but the Mars part didn't really do anything for me. It's well worth the read though, especially if you like science fiction. This is a science fiction book but reads better as a general novel. I was intrigued by the mute mother and the family relationships but the Mars part didn't really do anything for me. It's well worth the read though, especially if you like science fiction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Up front know that I really wanted to like this but got bogged down in reality versus the fantasy/sci fi aspects. Swan has written a tale of seven generations, beginning in 1873 and ending in 2073. It moves between the US and, wait for it, Mars. There are dreams, there are visions. I got lost about the time that New Orleans was submerged in some sort of worldwide awful event in 2017- except that didn't happen. Enough bad stuff has happened that an alternate time line where there's an added awful Up front know that I really wanted to like this but got bogged down in reality versus the fantasy/sci fi aspects. Swan has written a tale of seven generations, beginning in 1873 and ending in 2073. It moves between the US and, wait for it, Mars. There are dreams, there are visions. I got lost about the time that New Orleans was submerged in some sort of worldwide awful event in 2017- except that didn't happen. Enough bad stuff has happened that an alternate time line where there's an added awful even that didn't actually occur, well, don't need that. Then there's Mars. Moon, a Martian, contacts Earth. And then people from Earth travel to Mars (but how?). Focus on the characters and this is an interesting read. Swan has a lot to say about climate change and parenthood, with passages that resonate. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Wasn't my cup of tea but it's worth a read and it's a good debut.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    7/10. Impressive, but a bit all over the place (much like this review will be). This begins with two narratives that are separated by two centuries. The rest of the book builds a bridge between those two narratives. There were portions of this book that I found hard to put down and others that I wanted to skim. The futuristic portions were a little harder to grasp, I think because the author didn't fill in a ton of details which gave it a dream like quality. As far as the future goes, I enjoyed 7/10. Impressive, but a bit all over the place (much like this review will be). This begins with two narratives that are separated by two centuries. The rest of the book builds a bridge between those two narratives. There were portions of this book that I found hard to put down and others that I wanted to skim. The futuristic portions were a little harder to grasp, I think because the author didn't fill in a ton of details which gave it a dream like quality. As far as the future goes, I enjoyed the parts on earth after the flooding more than the sections on Mars. The earlier characters were easier to root for, they were more flawed and human and set (mostly) in a familiar 20th century. Moon, on the other hand, hadn't lived enough of a life to really cultivate much feeling in this reader for her plight. I would read future books by this author.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trace Nichols

    2.75 stars "A family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet's imminent collapse." I spent most of this book feeling lost and confused. Even though, in the end, it does complete individual storylines, I didn't walk away feeling like they tied in to a larger, more meaningful outcome. 2.75 stars "A family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet's imminent collapse." I spent most of this book feeling lost and confused. Even though, in the end, it does complete individual storylines, I didn't walk away feeling like they tied in to a larger, more meaningful outcome.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I liked big chunks of this--the Floating City section and the Paul section were very engrossing--but other sections didn't captivate me to the same degree. The way the different narratives braided together was also a bit puzzling; I wondered how a different organization schema might have changed how I responded to the story. 3.5/5 I liked big chunks of this--the Floating City section and the Paul section were very engrossing--but other sections didn't captivate me to the same degree. The way the different narratives braided together was also a bit puzzling; I wondered how a different organization schema might have changed how I responded to the story. 3.5/5

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen Ortaga

    I truly did not know what to expect with this book but I am SO glad I tried it out anyway, it is very well-written with very important commentary through the lens of a dystopia and different characters.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Noel

    This book was so much more sad than I was expecting. And I think I need to write down where I get my recommendations from because I cannot remember where I heard of this one. I’m not sure that I liked it. But it’s incredibly vivid and imaginative. And also, sad.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Appleseed and Walk the Vanished Earth were an interesting pair of books to read together. Climate change as slow change, then fast collapse.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Beautifully written and marvelously inventive.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susannah Carlson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Klein

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joy Ackert

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim Paris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Chatagnier

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Kantor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.