Title: The Completionist
Author: Siobhan Adcock
Synopsis via Goodreads: A young Marine, Carter Quinn, comes home from war to his fractured family, in a near-future America in which water is artificially engineered and technology is startlingly embedded in people’s everyday lives. At the same time, a fertility crisis has terrifying implications for women, including Carter’s two beloved sisters, Fred and Gardner. Fred, accomplished but impetuous, the eldest sibling, is naturally pregnant—a rare and miraculous event that puts her independence in jeopardy. And Gardner, the idealistic younger sister who lived for her job as a Nurse Completionist, has mysteriously vanished, after months of disturbing behaviour.
Carter’s efforts to find Gard (and stay on Fred’s good side) keep leading him back home to their father, a veteran of a decades-long war just like Carter himself, who may be concealing a painful truth that could save or condemn them all.
My Review: Heralded as speculative fiction and perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, of course I had my reservations that it could possibly be that good, but I was cautiously optimistic about this one! I think I need a good dystopian story right about now. Unfortunately, this one just fell flat for me.
Told from a future where fertility rates are scary low and resources scarce, female rights and their choices have waned and completely surround their fertility and choices in child rearing are practically nonexistent this one definitely does give off a Handmaid’s Tale vibe. However, about 1/3 of the way through this book I still had very little idea of what this future looked like and what events had transpired to get us there. I found it very frustrating to have a story surrounding a mystery (Gard’s disappearance) and still have so many questions about everything else that was going on. I also found Carter, our narrator (*fresh to have a male narrator in this sub-genre), to be somewhat unlikeable, very unreliable and overall a little puzzling in what his end goal was and how little actual motivation or bond to his family he seemed to have.
Overall I found this to be a little slow, hard to follow and ultimately a story I didn’t find myself to be very invested in. The premise and future that Adcock has created was still somewhat interesting and intriguing to ponder, but I just never fully bought in to this one.
I’d recommend it to lovers of this genre craving a new dystopian future to consider.
Thank you to BookSparks for this copy to read and review, while I was provided with this copy for free all opinions are my own.