Book Review: THE RISE

Welcome to my book review of THE RISE, by Sue-Ellen Pashley. This is the first book in the Drowned Earth series of standalone Cli-Fi novellas published by Deadset Press – and what a way to open the series!

Right from the start, Pashley’s vivid descriptions draw the reader into Katie James’ flooded world. Katie and her community of survivors in south-east Queensland live on a network of islands, islands which used to be mountains. They are used to hardship, they are used to death. But the body that Katie sees floating in the ocean turns her world upside down. This person was her friend, Mason. And Mason hadn’t been a victim of the flood or disease, he had been stabbed.

Trying to solve the mystery of who had stabbed Mason and why, Katie soon learns that the people she can trust in her close-knit community are few and far between.

The characters in THE RISE are wonderful, Katie and Ellie stood out for me, their friendship felt real and their unique personalities really came through. And then there is Alex, a Territory leader who just gave creepy, untrustworthy vibes. I thought all the characters were well written, and they stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the story.

One thing that I loved – and hope to see more of in the rest of the series – is how familiar landmarks are changed by the environmental catastrophe. I always enjoy reading about cities that I’ve been to or places that I’m familiar with, and it’s even better when the author does something different with it, gives us a side of the city we haven’t seen before, or gives us a chilling future that we might never want to see!

I highly recommend this book, check it out for yourself here.

  • Originally published November 2019

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