Reviews

Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel

samranakhtar's review

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0

I picked this book up because the synopsis reminded me a lot of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, so I was excited. Cloud Atlas is one of my favourite novels because it's packed with so much character and story that transcends thought. Sea of Tranquility is, in my opinion, disappointing. It is messy and confusing at times, and the connections being made across time periods sometimes feel forced rather than intentional. I felt zero connection to any of the characters and didn't care enough to try to follow the plot that was messy and at times superficial. I know I'm in the minority with this novel since there are raving 5 star reviews on Goodreads. This judt wasn't for me. 

towardinfinitybooks's review

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mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

jedbird's review against another edition

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5.0

I have read and loved all this author's books, and I was really looking forward to this, so it's especially nice it didn't disappoint. Like her other works, there are ideas about travel and liminal space, and now this time there's time travel. Like her other works, this features a somewhat hapless young man in over his head.

Characters and themes from prior books abound, but you definitely don't need to have read any of her other books for this one to make sense. As with her other stories, this can be a standalone.

The only thing I didn't like about this was that it took me no time at all to read it, and now I'll have to wait probably literal years for her to publish something else.

missbreathing's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

I just finished Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel a couple of days ago, and it has got to be one of my favorite 2022 reads! 5⭐️
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I don’t know how to describe the plot of this book without spoiling it, so I won’t try. But I will say that I’m a little bit in awe of the writing. There are so many complex themes and ideas streamlined into a story set in various times and featuring many different characters, and somehow it all works. To think this all came from the brain of just one person is pretty awesome.
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The themes and ideas in this novel would resonate with most readers, I think. Personally, I’ve spent the last two years actively avoiding fiction that even hints at pandemics or any of the chaos of the current times. But this one snuck up on me! I am glad I read it, though, because I think Sea of Tranquility is the perfect book for the times. The characters in the novel are struck by pandemics, forced to wonder if the world is ending, and grappling with the very concept of reality. It all comes about organically and in ways that will strike the reader as eerily familiar. 
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My favorite thing about this book is the humanity at the heart of it. It’s a high-concept sci-if book, but the human experience is always at the center of it. And, ultimately, it’s more about posing questions than it is about plot or even characters (though we do get a good bit of both).
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Honestly, I have so much to say about this book. Just know that I’d recommend this to anyone. 

zacharydpugh's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot

4.25

bachaboska's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.75

georgiaalice's review

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5.0

forever in love with everything Emily writes

patrisias's review against another edition

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4.0

This reminded me too much of David Mitchell. I understand that David Mitchell does not own this particular way of telling a story, however, Emily St. John Mandel does not benefit from the comparison. The story was well-written and engaging though. I'm just not as blown away as so many other people seem to be.

thesaltiestlibrarian's review

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emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

franha02's review

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adventurous mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75