Ling Ma's debut novel, Severance, asks the question: what would a millennial do in the apocalypse? But Severance is so much more than just a-millennial-surviving-the-apocalypse. Kirkus explains, "This a biting indictment of late-stage capitalism and a chilling vision of what comes after," and I agree, but, I would also add: it's about the persistence of millennials to survive — and thrive — in the face of disaster.
For Ma's protagonist Candance Chen, who is somehow immune to the Shen Fever that has killed the majority of the world, she tries to continue with her daily life until it becomes un-liveable. Set in 2011, the story alternates between Chen's postapocalyptic life with a band of survivors, led by an IT specialist named Bob, and flashbacks to her working life (she works for a publisher of bibles) and immigrant backstory.
The novel is at once a coming-of-age tale, a critique of capitalism, and a horror story. As NPR writes, "It's a stunning, audacious book with a fresh take on both office politics and what the apocalypse might bring: This is the way the world ends, Ma seems to be saying, not with a bang but a memo." (What a terrifying concept!) It was creepy, haunting, and gave me so much to think about. Very much worth a read.
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2CwFALJ