Simply riveting.

Station Eleven doesn't support (or need) a large cast of key players to tell the story of the end of civilization. In this case, less is more. Everything unfolds one non-linear puzzle piece at a time. You're shown this moment, then it's to the other size of the world for another moment, but then it skips ahead 15 years, and then back 10 years. It sounds disjointed the way I describe it but it absolutely works.

About halfway through, one of the characters references Justin Cronin's The Passage, which is another popular post-apocalyptic novel from a few years ago, but if I'm to compare the two, I like Station Eleven more. Telling the story of a shattered world in a way that doesn't disconnect itself from its humanity is to tell the story through the eyes of a small number of its inhabitants. Emily St. John Mandel manages this balance just right.

Short anecdote: At one point I was reading during a late night flight, and my surroundings were such that my sense of immersion was all too real. There was little to no chatter in the cabin of the plane due to the late hour, and the area outside my window was shrouded in close-to-pitch darkness. I could see a light here and there winking at me from the ground far below. For a story that's in part about the absence of people, I felt a genuine fear that I'm sure would not have occurred had I been reading on a cozy park bench during my lunch break.

danielestes's rating:
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