Author: Sue Burke
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: May 4, 2021
Sue Burke’s latest novel is one that may feel all too familiar to many readers – as a contagion threatens the country. Immunity Index is one part science fiction and one part dystopian, and its timing is so very eerie. At least, to me.
Things are not going well. There are food shortages abound, inequality is painfully familiar, and the government is only making things worse. This is the life three women have always known, and yet they hope for so much more.
These very women as some of the last of their kind, created and designed by Peng. However, they were meant to have much in common, and now they are fighting to stay alive while trying desperately to help find a cure for what humanity is facing.
Wow. I think that Immunity Index is a novel that would have hit hard regardless of when it was released. But to have it come out now after COVID-19 has so impacted the world…it hurts. Not because Burke is taking advantage of the situation, but because it is easy to picture the world she is describing here.
The story unfolds through the use of four different perspectives. As you might imagine, they are the four women mentioned above (the fourth being Peng, their creator). It was fascinating getting to know them all like this, and it helped move the pacing forward steadily.
I should probably mention that I haven’t actually read anything else by Sue Burke, so unlike many other readers out there – I’m not comparing Immunity Index to Semiosis. However, I do not know if this is a good thing or not (but I do know that many readers loved Semiosis), so it felt worth mentioning.
Overall I really enjoyed this story, even if it did kick me in the emotional gut a time or two. I would advise that readers take a moment to ask themselves if they’re ready to read a novel that handles this subject, given what we’ve gone through in the last year. But otherwise, I would highly recommend it.
Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.