Camp Zero - Michelle Min Sterling


The story is set in the near future, where climate change has caused severe weather conditions.

As a result, people have started developing floating cities for the elite, and governments have imposed a ban on oil.

Technology-wise - social media, the internet, and cell phones have all meshed into an implantable device, and much of the world is addicted to the “feed.”

What I didn’t like

Story Arcs and Character Development

The book has us follow three story arcs - Rose, Grant, and White Alice. Unfortunately, this meant that the character and story development was spread thin. While there was an excellent attempt to explain each character's origin and life struggles, I did not feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters when the three-story arcs converged. In short, I did not care about any of the characters.

Contrast this to The Fifth Season, which had three different story arcs but with richer character and story development in each narrative, leaving the reader wanting to read the following books in that series.

Cliff Hanger

I couldn't decide if there was a satisfactory “win” at the end of this book.

None of the characters were emotionally memorable enough for me to want to invest time in the next book - if there is one.

Killing To Survive

I started disliking this book when the group from White Alice started killing men to get money so that they could purchase gas for their generators.

It didn’t feel right because the lack of character and story development made it hard to empathize with White Alice’s actions and moral justification to survive.

What I Liked

Audio Book Narration

The Audiobook had three different narrators for each of the story arcs.

Annexation Loop Hole

The central command always had tabs on White Alice and seemed unmoved by their actions to kill to survive. They only cared that Americans were occupying the station to satisfy an annexation loophole, which the US could use to annex resource-rich parts of Canada.

Open Questions

Who told the Mayor about the Barber’s relationship with Rose? If it were a choice between Sal and the Foreman, I’d pick Sal. She was always mentioning “contingencies”.

What was the point of sending Rose to camp? She was sent as a spy to profile the Mayor psychologically. However, from the events in the book, it is evident that the Foreman himself could have analyzed the Mayor’s erratic behavior.