Beneath rock and soil, trees and oceans, she lies.
Under concrete jungles and poisoned rivers, she slumbers.
She is Mother Earth.
And mankind has turned its back on its mother.
G’day friends! Today is my stop on The Write Reads’ Blog Tour for Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward – and what a book!
Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward is a thought-provoking read centering on a sort of pre-apocalyptic America wherein our Earth fights back against the neglect and harm of humanity.
Here is the Goodreads synopsis before I go any further with this review:
The visions begin on Terran’s seventeenth birthday. Horrifying images pummel her brain, while a voice commands her to see beyond the world she thought she knew and into the heart of it. Gaia has awakened, brought to consciousness by the greed of a species that has tainted every aspect of her being in a tide of indifference. With this awareness, comes rage. Gaia calls upon her children to unleash her fury, wreaking vengeance on humanity.
Terran will emerge in a world on the brink of collapse, to face a being whose wrath is beyond imagining.
thoughts on the storyline and characters
So I read Ward’s book, After the Green Withered for a blog tour last year so I was already aware of how much I enjoyed Ward’s writing as well as her creativity and the way in which she writes her characters. After the Green Withered and Rise of Gaia share incredibly similar themes focusing on climate change and the negative impact of humanity upon the earth. Rise of Gaia is about a young woman named Terran (which i thought was cool since earth was also referred to as Terra) who, upon her seventeenth birthday, is able to communicate with Gaia who is freaking angry.
Terran was an interesting character and I really loved the connection between her and Gaia. Terran could personally feel the emotions of Gaia as well as recieving seemingly random visions from Gaia – so I really enjoyed reading through Terran’s perspective. I especially enjoyed seeing her grow as the story went on; seeing Terran grapple with and struggle with the knowledge of what was coming, of the harm humanity has wrought on earth as well as her growing power.
But I low-key loved Gaia as a her own character – I just got super emotional, okay?!
I did find, however, that towards the middle of the book it began to slow in terms of pace – which I didn’t find as a huge issue but it meant that the flow of the story for me was slightly disjointed. I also thought that the romance itself between Terran and her boyfriend felt forced? I don’t really think it was needed overall but I am extremely picky. I just found him slightly controling and annoying.
Most importantly though, I think the message behind this book is freaking powerful. It honestly made me reflect upon the ways in which I am complicit in the destruction of my home. Especially since we don’t have much time until the earth’s climate will be irrevocably changed to its detriment. The amount of animals that have made extinct or on the precipice of extinction as a result of climate change is horrifying and we are responsible for it. It makes me incredibly depressed and terrified for the future – to the point that I get paralysed because I just don’t know what to do. But this book emphasises the importance of also highlighting that the small things can also make a difference. But let’s be honest, if the world’s governments and global industries don’t start taking responsibility for their actions or inactions, we won’t get very far.
Overall, I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and I really recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy and thought-provoking reads with strong characters.
Remember to check out the other bloggers on the blog tour!
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,
About the Author
Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.