What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

My Review

This was my choice fo Zuky’s BookBum Book Club‘s March theme of ‘And the Award Goes To‘, it won a few awards, including the Arthur C Clark Award for Best Novel 2015.

This story really did captivate me right from the start. The writing was so good that I felt like I was there, before during and after ‘The Collapse’.ย  I had to find out what was going to happen to the main characters, Arthur, Jeeven, Miranda, Kirsten, and Clark, but especially Kirsten. There are a lot of flashbacks but it’s not confusing, as the author makes sure you know what time period you’re in, either before ‘The Collapse’ or after.

This is one of those books where I kept thinking about how I would react or cope if I was caught in a similar situation. It was very creepy at times, especially when the Travelling Symphony came into contact with ‘the prophet’. Just thinking him about him now makes me shiver.

The narrator, Jack Hawkins, had such an amazing voice that I didn’t want to stop listening to him. Usually when I listen to audiobooks I’m doing something else at the same time, but with this book I had to slow down and stop because it was mesmerizing, I wanted to give it my full attention.

I don’t normally read or listen to books set in a dystopian future, but this has definitely opened my mind to trying another one. I’m so glad that I took a chance on this audiobook, I will definitely be listening to it again as it’s become a firm favourite.