Book Review: Station Eleven

I knew nothing about the premise of Station Eleven before picking it up on Audible. I had only heard great things and saw that the book was getting rave reviews as well as award nominations. I'm so glad I picked it up. Station Eleven is a massive novel. Not in length but in depth. It's also one of the best written novels I've read in a long time. Each line of this book feels like poetry. Its beautiful. Which is shocking given its a post apocalyptic novel about a flu that kills 99% of the worlds population. 

However unlike most post apocalyptic books this book spans many years before and after the flu hits the world. We follow a ton of different characters and their journey both pre and post flu. What makes the book stand out though is that it connects all of its many characters through a few different threads. I don't really want to go much deeper then that because the journey of discovery in Station Eleven is a big part of the novels appeal.

For me Station Eleven is easily one of the best books I've read all year. However I had a couple of minor nitpicks. Although I love a good tight short novel this one felt like it ended before it was able to get really good. Not that I needed this to be The Stand by Stephen King (which is has some similarities too) but the world that Emily St John Mandel created was fascinating. To not only hear accounts of how the world handled 99% of its population dying in a matter of days but also the aftermath of those that did survive was riveting. I was left wanting more of it. And even when the books jumps 10, 15, 20 years after the flu I wanted to hear how societies were getting brought back together. These were easily some of my favorite parts of the novel and yet we only got brief tastes of it. 

With that being said Station Eleven is an easy book to recommend. Did I mention how brilliant the writing was? It just felt right. Station Eleven is a great novel and should not be missed. I would love if Emily St. John Mandel wrote more books in this world, there are more stories to be told and my only complaint is that I just wanted more when I finished it. 

Hell is the absence of the people you long for.
— Emily St. John Mandel