Monday, October 1, 2018

Severance, Ling Ma

TITLE: Severance
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
PUB. YEAR: 2018
FORMAT:  - eGalley
RATING: 4/5 stars

Candace Chen is a millennial daughter of Chinese immigrant parents who are recently deceased.  She spends her days in a NY office tower doing routine work at a publishing company that is producing the Gemstone Bibles which are manufactured in China to cut costs. She doesn't mind going to work, it fills her days since her parents have died and she looks forward to spending evenings with her boyfriend watching movies.

When Shen Fever, a plague of biblical proportions, hits NY from China, at first Candace barely notices. She soon becomes one of the last few employees as victims soon become zombie-like creatures as a result of their mundane jobs.  While survivors like Candace know they won't be able to make it on their own forever, she and others must decide whether "The Facility", a place to escape to and begin anew is the right thing for them.

First off, this book is not the kind of book I would normally be drawn to, but, I liked the premise and wanted to try it. The writing is excellent. The author does an amazing job of weaving the story of Candace's parents immigrant experience, their life and beliefs with what she is experiencing in the present.  The writing is so funny at times as well, from office satire to apocalyptic tale, it's a quirky look at alternatives to rote office jobs.  I thought the first person narrative worked well and fell in love with Candace and the social and political aspects of this story.  If you are up for something a bit different, be sure to try this one.


  1. That's not my typical fare either but I'd be willing to give it a try since you enjoyed it.

  2. I had NO idea where this story was going but a plague? Zombies? Sounds like an interesting take on what has been done 1000 times before.

  3. I am so glad to read your review of Severance! I had heard about it and was curious. I am always up for something different and I will put it on my list.

  4. Not my genre either but I enjoyed the review.

  5. This book has a unique premise! I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Diane. Very nice review!

  6. I have this one waiting on audio, and I'm really looking forward to listening to it! I've heard such good things about it.

    I appreciate the detailed review!


    Book By Book

  7. I so did not see where this review was going. The cover and the start of the review make it sound like an Amy Tan or Gail Tsukiyama book. Then the zombie part hit!

  8. It sounds different as well as intriguing.


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