Apr 06, 2020Michael Colford rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
When it comes to dystopian societies, Sam J. Miller sure has created something complex that borrows from pop culture, Inuit myth, capitalism and environmental collapse just to name a few! In fact, the rich threads that Miller weaves into <i>Blackfish City</i> threaten at first to overwhelm the story, making it difficult to breakthrough and stick with it. But perseverance is worthwhile, as the story of a family torn apart by genocide who unite to combat oppression (or maybe just to get revenge?) and at about the halfway mark, things start to really come together and race forward nicely.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and a lot of different storyline threads, as I mentioned, but most of them don't need all that much effort. A thread about an AIDS-like virus that is transmitted sexually, but involves communal memory and mental disjointedness sometimes feels like something from another story. Yet Miller manages to weave that thread smoothly into the larger tapestry.
Clearly the most compelling story for me, the bonding between man and beast as exemplified by the strange woman riding on the back of an orca, takes the longest to get its due, but once it does it does so beautifully. Still, with political corruption, organized crime, post-punk technology, climate change, gender identity and generational memory all added to the mix, there's probably something for everyone. Hopefully readers will not find that there is too much for everyone.