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by Francesca Lia Block
read by Julia Whelan
2013 Brilliance Audio
5 hours 25 minutes unabridged
Genres: post apocalypse, young adult
Filed in: Audiobook Reviews
2 out of 5 halos
PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.
©2013 Francesca Lia Block (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: I love a good post-apocalyptic tale but, unfortunately, Love in the Time of Global Warming didn’t do it for me.
Pen was the only survivor of her family after the big earthquake and for a while she holed up in her house, living on the meager supply of canned goods her parents had put away. Eventually a band of scavengers comes around and it looks like the end for Pen. As it turns out, however, one of the marauders happens to be a friend of her parents, and he just happens to be the one who finds her cowering in the basement. The nice robber drops a clue that Pen’s father may still be alive and that she needs to look for him. Then he helps her escape by telling her that the keys are in the van they arrived in and that it’s stocked with plenty of food and stuff.
So begins Pen’s journey through the wasteland that used to be Los Angeles. Her trek strangely mirrors that of Odysseus in Homer’s “Odyssey” but in a darker and less interesting way. She encounters a giant mutant with one eye. She tells the “Cyclops” that her name is “nobody” before putting out its eye with a pair of scissors. Then it’s on to the Lotus Hotel where she spends some time with a group that drink the nectar of a special flower that keeps them tranced out. Then there were the sirens of Beverly Hills, girls who used to get a lot of plastic surgery and now live in the mud of a swamp or something. They sing with their beautiful voices and lure people in. And on and on. If you’ve never read “The Odyssey” these things will mean very little to you.
All in all this book was perplexing. All of these individual scenes come off like a fever-dream or a bad trip. The images are confusing and the passage of time is hard to follow. Pen came out of the Lotus Hotel after what seemed like several hours and I found out that it had actually been several weeks. In each stop on her trip Pen meets someone who inevitably joins her on her quest but none of the characters really turn out to be very interesting. If Pen is searching for her father she’s going about it in a very haphazard way, almost as if she expects to just run into him in some random place. Well, I listened to Love in the Time of Global Warming for 2 or 3 hours and then gave up on it.
In spite of the story, I did enjoy Julia Whelan’s narration. She reads very well and does pretty decent voices for the characters. Whelan began acting at the age of 11, playing in a couple of notable roles. After taking some time off to earn a Bachelor of Arts she returned to acting in 2008. In addition to her acting roles, Whelan is an accomplished audiobook narrator with many titles to her credit including the wildly popular Gone Girl.
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Special thanks to Brilliance Audio for this review copy. Audiobook review by Steven Brandt. This audiobook review is based on the unabridged audiobook. Come back soon for more audiobook reviews from Audiobook-Heaven.