Review of “Stjärnklart” by Lars Wilderäng

stjarnklart-01-stjarnklart-lars-wilderangTitle: Stjärnklart (~ “Starlit”)
Author: Lars Wilderäng
Series: Stjärnklart #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 403
Published: 2014, Massolit
My Grade: 5 out of 5 dust particles

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

Electronics does not have an immune system…

Johan works in a store chain for mobile phone reparations. Something is not right with more and more broken phones which have been turned in lately. They are stone dead, but filled with dust which quickly spreads and irritate airways. In the idyllic suburbs south of Gothenburg, Magnus Svensson is fighting to get his life puzzle together. When the car out of nowhere stops working, he gets stranded together with many others. The car companies are powerless, and he puts his fate to public transit. But where is the train? Food stores are empited of food and no new deliveries are in sight. Filip Stenvik has survivalism and prepping as hobbies on the side of his job as a barista on Söder, but is he really prepared to let his hobbies become a reality? The Policeman Peter Ragnhell sees an opportunity to expand his unconventional methods of crime fighting. At Karlsborg’s airport, elite soldier Gustaf Silverbane stands ready for a tour abroad when a firelight fills the sky and everything suddenly falls apart. At the same time, the programmer Anna Ljungberg makes a discovery, which threathens to change the conditions for all human life on earth. Or is it already too late?

After yet another power failure, everything changes. The dark fall enters a starlit winter where chaos rules and few survives.

 

MY REVIEW

In the past 8 days that it took for me to read this book, I have had a flood of different emotions. Most if it was anger towards the ugly human-without-tech behavior. There were some happy moments as well, relief here and there, but also fear. Is this what would happen if all electronics in today’s society would fall apart? Would humans really turn against each other in a matter of days to ensure their own survival? It is scary to think about how badly prepared I am in case of an emergency. It has made me think about my situation and how I could be better prepared if anything happened. Especially since there are posters here and there every now and then in Gothenburg asking if I could survive 72h without anyone or anything else than what I have at home. I would most likely be one of those 80% who died in the first few months of this book.

The first thing that I really liked about it was that it mostly took place here in Gothenburg, my hometown. I rarely read any Swedish books and they all take place in imaginary places. But now, as I was on the commute train to work in Kungsbacka, the guy in the book was also on the commute train to Kungsbacka! With the names of street and landmarks here in Gothenburg it was super easy to see how all this took place right in front of me. They were shooting and killing each other at Liseberg, on Gustaf Adolf’s square right in downtown a market slash massacre took place. I think that was a huge contributor to why I liked this book so much. It felt so real to me, and especially since it was so realistically written. It felt like a feasible scenario and I can imagine that this is how it would all go down.

It was a scary book, but what scared me the most were the people. After reading the first chapter about Peter the policeman (all the chapters were from different people’s point of view and most characters were recurring), I was so angry! He is the biggest douchebag ever. There are rarely any authors who make me hate a character as much as I hate that guy. So, I guess, I want to give credits to Lars Wilderäng for creating such livid characters.

As a teacher in the subject “teknik” (=technology) at a high school I think I am going to suggest to a teacher in Swedish, that for next school year make a collaboration with the two courses. The students should read this book, do all the linguistic parts about writing analyses of books and whatever. But also use that knowledge when working with technological development in the technology class. There is one very big part of the final grade, and that is to understand the interaction between society, humans and technology. That could be an interesting assignment.

Anyway, this book gets a star clear 5 rating and I will start on the second “Stjärnfall” right now. Some bad news for my English-speaking readers. This book is not yet translated. I really wish it would be, so not only Swedish-speaking people can enjoy it. But until then, keep your eyes and ears out, hopefully it will happen soon.

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