Books & Literature

Book Review: Cold People, by Tom Rob Smith

THRILLER: From the brilliant, bestselling author of Child 44 comes a suspenseful and fast-paced novel about a colony of global apocalypse survivors seeking to reinvent civilisation under the most extreme conditions imaginable.

A fast-paced, sci-fi inspired thriller which explores the true nature of humanity under immense pressure.

Feature image credit: Simon & Schuster

It’s been eight years since Tom Rob Smith’s last novel, the espionage thriller The Farm. With his latest work, Cold People, he takes his literary base in a whole new direction, but with a familiarity that fans of his Child 44series will appreciate.

In the latter part of 2023, while on a relaxing holiday in Europe with her family, Liza meets Atto, a young man with big dreams. He hopes for the chance to impress Liza, but everything is turned on its head with the arrival of an extra-terrestrial fleet with only one demand: humanity has 30 days to relocate to the least habitable location on Earth, the Antarctic.

The world’s population scrambles south and those who have not set foot on the ice are wiped from the face of the earth. Fast forward 20 years and several different towns have been built across the Antarctic Circle, including the adaptation of McMurdo Station into McMurdo City, home to the best and brightest scientific minds left alive.

The scientific team has been working on a project, designed to ensure the continuation of humanity, called The Cold People Project. The project has delivered many adapted children to the people of the Antarctic, including Atto and Liza’s daughter, Echo. However, these are not the only adapted children. The original mission was to genetically modify the human genome to ensure resilience to the cold, but it’s been taken in a whole new direction.

Much more than a work of science fiction, this is a human tale, filled with emotionally driven plots that weave together into the most satisfying of climactic events. It also boasts locational descriptions that fill the mind with dazzling visual landscapes of the frozen tundra.

Cold People is a captivating piece of fiction, moving across different time periods – the past, present, and future – ultimately, exploring the age-old question of human nature: if everything changes, does anything or anyone really change?

Reviewed by Glen Christie

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by:
Simon & Schuster
Released: February 2023
RRP: $32.99

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