Sea of Tranquility: A novel

We rated this book:


Sea of Tranquility covers many time periods and many locations. It begins in Canada in 1912, goes to New York City in 2020, follows an author in 2203, and then leaps to 2401. The reader senses that there is a connection between these time periods, and the reveal of that connection comes late in the book.

What makes the book special is that the ride is enjoyable. I wasn’t annoyed awaiting a reveal but rather appreciated the writing style and worlds that St. John Mandel creates. Sea of Tranquility offers a conclusion of sorts, the time travel aspects have an “aha” moment. There are a few weaknesses. I did get confused at times, and I wasn’t sure if it was a fault of the novel or my reading of it. The strongest character is Edwin in 1912, the others are less vivid.

In addition, the comparison to Cloud Atlas couldn’t be avoided, which has a completely different writing style, language, and tone in each section, whereas this novel does not, leaving a flat feeling at times. Yet, the author makes profound statements through her characters, and as I often say, the best speculative fiction tells us more about ourselves, and this book delivers that aspect beautifully.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 05-Apr-2022
ISBN 9780593321447 Buy this Book
Issue July 2022
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy