My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Oh Brave new world that has such people in it!”
There’s something about the Carbon Diaries 2017 that made me think very much of The Tempest. That sort of discovery of what the world now is, and the realisation that you’re going to have to live in this order. That you can’t keep the world away, it will find you, and it will take you and now’s the time to decide what you stand for.
I think this is the book I wanted all along from this series. I liked it a lot better than the first. It’s two years on now in the post carbon-rationing world and Laura Brown is still keeping her diary and trying to make it with her band.
The problems of the first, the info-dumps and the rather identikit nature of Laura, are gone here. Previously, I thought Laura a rather identikit, passive character – but now she’s truly proactive, reactive, and she’s not drowning in this world anymore. Her choices in this book are fascinating, dark, and challenging. And in a way I felt her choices, and connected with her much more in this book. Part of this may be from familiarity but I wonder if there’s an ease here with Laura and a confidence that’s lacking from the 2015.
Whilst 2015 had its strengths, I think exploring the transition from this world to the next weakened it. 2017, with its ferocious unstinting presentation of the new world order, is a powerful book. And it’s one that feels somehow much more terrifying and acute than its predecessor.