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The Annual Migration of Clouds

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In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community. The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fu In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community. The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away - to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society - but she can't bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her. When she's offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can't even trust her own mind?


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In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community. The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fu In post-climate disaster Alberta, a woman infected with a mysterious parasite must choose whether to pursue a rare opportunity far from home or stay and help rebuild her community. The world is nothing like it once was: climate disasters have wracked the continent, causing food shortages, ending industry, and leaving little behind. Then came Cad, mysterious mind-altering fungi that invade the bodies of the now scattered citizenry. Reid, a young woman who carries this parasite, has been given a chance to get away - to move to one of the last remnants of pre-disaster society - but she can't bring herself to abandon her mother and the community that relies on her. When she's offered a coveted place on a dangerous and profitable mission, she jumps at the opportunity to set her family up for life, but how can Reid ask people to put their trust in her when she can't even trust her own mind?

30 review for The Annual Migration of Clouds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    This clever and moving novella is set in a post climate disaster, civilisation collapse world. Reid, the young woman who is the main character, has just been accepted into Howse university. She currently lives in a self sufficient town/community where only the oldest remember a time with electricity. The University would’ve been domed and enclosed when disaster happened, Reids people have survived nonetheless. Reid also has a disease called Cad for short. It’s a fungal infection that lives in a This clever and moving novella is set in a post climate disaster, civilisation collapse world. Reid, the young woman who is the main character, has just been accepted into Howse university. She currently lives in a self sufficient town/community where only the oldest remember a time with electricity. The University would’ve been domed and enclosed when disaster happened, Reids people have survived nonetheless. Reid also has a disease called Cad for short. It’s a fungal infection that lives in a symbiotic relationship with its host, so much so that it can protect the host from danger. With this as the basis of the story it becomes an exploration about survival, friendship, memory and regret, fear and anger. Fear of an unknown future, and anger at the previous societies that lived so carefree and carelessly. But the story is told with hope and courage and I found it well written and an interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sunyi Dean

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy. I did that thing which reviewers probably shouldn't really do, which is go through and read other reviews before writing mine. However, in this case, I did so for a very specific reason: I had a suspicion about how this book would land, and I think I was mostly right. A good friend of mine who is very much a litfic fan once gave me a beautiful definition for literary fiction (the genre) as opposed to commercial fiction with a literary qualit Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy. I did that thing which reviewers probably shouldn't really do, which is go through and read other reviews before writing mine. However, in this case, I did so for a very specific reason: I had a suspicion about how this book would land, and I think I was mostly right. A good friend of mine who is very much a litfic fan once gave me a beautiful definition for literary fiction (the genre) as opposed to commercial fiction with a literary quality. She said that both litfic and commercial genres ask certain questions, but genre fiction must provide an answer to the questions it asks within its story, whereas litfic tends to be more concerned with the exploration of the question itself. The endpoint is less important than the journey, and so on. That tendency sometimes gives litfic its reputation for books that meander, have unusual structures, or end without concluding (the narrative seeming to trail off or finish abruptly.) More commercially oriented readers are sometimes put off by those aspects, and if you're used to other genres then it can be genuinely frustrating. (I found Handmaid's Tale frustrating, for example: it just stops at a semi-random endpoint.) Migration of Clouds is a beautiful, thoughtful, and eerie musing, and I'd feel comfortable classing it as literary fiction (a tag it won't get labelled with in all likelihood because of the highly speculative setting.) I realise there's a degree of subjectivity there, but that's my take on it. A lovely, evocative, sensory, thoughtful, and multi-layered novella. But I think it might get a slightly cool reception from the SFF crowd because of its litfic structure, and might not suit genre fans looking for a more tangible, more 'defined' grasp on those speculative elements. I didn't mind the structure but did find myself wishing it was a little bit longer, because I was quite interested in knowing whether the university was real. Hopefully the author will put out more novellas in the same world some day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    3.5! Thank you ECW for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review! This little book definitely packs a punch. I like that the dystopian setting wasn’t constantly shoved down our throats. It wasn’t eerie or creepy as I thought it was going to be, so that was a nice surprise. (Sometimes these sorts of settings are hit or miss for me, but this was a hit!). I enjoyed the characters and getting to know them. I feel like as a novella, they weren’t as fully developed as they coul 3.5! Thank you ECW for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review! This little book definitely packs a punch. I like that the dystopian setting wasn’t constantly shoved down our throats. It wasn’t eerie or creepy as I thought it was going to be, so that was a nice surprise. (Sometimes these sorts of settings are hit or miss for me, but this was a hit!). I enjoyed the characters and getting to know them. I feel like as a novella, they weren’t as fully developed as they could have been had this been a novel. Definitely a book that you need to take your time with - I feel like I have to go back and reread it to catch references and other things!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Queralt✨

    4.5* The Annual Migration of Clouds follows Reid, a woman infected with a parasite called Cad - it kills others, it leaves others, and Cad also chooses to stay in the bodies of certain people, not only living off them but making its carriers do (or not do) certain things. Reid lives in a community that is attempting to survive after civilization has collapsed due to a climate disaster (and Cad). She knows all her neighbours because no one that has left the community has ever come back, and no one 4.5* The Annual Migration of Clouds follows Reid, a woman infected with a parasite called Cad - it kills others, it leaves others, and Cad also chooses to stay in the bodies of certain people, not only living off them but making its carriers do (or not do) certain things. Reid lives in a community that is attempting to survive after civilization has collapsed due to a climate disaster (and Cad). She knows all her neighbours because no one that has left the community has ever come back, and no one really knows what is outside of it for certain. One day, she receives a letter - written in real paper! - offering her a place at Howse University (what is left of civilization) as long as she can make it there in two weeks time. Reid is then conflicted by the decision of abandoning her community that needs rebuilding to go to a place that may not even exist. I thought the novella was incredibly well written, thought-provoking, and (while not necessarily fun) interesting. I usually hate reading short fiction because I like getting to know the characters I am reading about, and I feel novellas don't quite let me do this. Mohamed managed to write her characters perfectly and explore their relationships even when the whole plot was going on. I'll just bullet point why I think this was an awesome read because I'm out of brain juice and can't write: - Well-crafted and eerie dystopian world, - Great characters, - The parasite is creepy, - The characters are aware they lack critical information (is the parasite sentient? does the university exist? what happened to those people who left? etc.) and thus there is no such thing as easy choices, - The cover, - The audiobook narrator, Eva Tavares, was really good, - It's a novella but it packs a punch. *I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3 5 Stars This was an enjoyable sci fi novella that provides an optimistic view of a post apocalyptic future. There is very little action in this one. Instead the tension arises as the young protagonist must choose between her responsibility to her family and advancing her education. The story is simple, yet compelling. I would recommend it to those who enjoy character based soft science fiction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sage Agee

    FUCK

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    It’s many years after a planet-wide climate collapse, and people are in small communities, and finding ways to live with what they have. There’s also a mysterious fungal disease that infects a portion of the narrator’s community, including her mother and herself. She knows it’s a death sentence no matter what, but one which she can live with, until one day it kills her. In one of a few horrible ways. One day Reid receives an acceptance letter from a university several days travel away. She’s thri It’s many years after a planet-wide climate collapse, and people are in small communities, and finding ways to live with what they have. There’s also a mysterious fungal disease that infects a portion of the narrator’s community, including her mother and herself. She knows it’s a death sentence no matter what, but one which she can live with, until one day it kills her. In one of a few horrible ways. One day Reid receives an acceptance letter from a university several days travel away. She’s thrilled, but there are some, including Reid’s mother, who are reluctant for Reid to leave her home. It’s becomes a big internal debate, with Reid wrestling with her unexpected choice: She, along with everyone in the community, have skills and roles in the community, and leaving would mean potentially harming, or hampering others in the group. This is not an insignificant concern, as everyone is living at a subsistence level, even many years post-worldwide climate collapse. Reid can also see opportunity for her and the community if she accepts the university, as there could be new methods and practices she could bring home. This is a story that grapples some big questions: -our lack of responsibility for our destruction of the planet, and how will this affect our future generations -can one do something for oneself when community survival depends on everyone? I was intrigued by this post-apocalyptic society, and its characters, and wished I could find out what Reid encountered at the university. Thank you to Netgalley and ECW Press for this ARC in exchange for a review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Runalong

    A really smart beautifully written story of survival in a world after the end of the world thanks to climate change. Covering growing up, leaving your community and facing your fears it’s excellent reading Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl... A really smart beautifully written story of survival in a world after the end of the world thanks to climate change. Covering growing up, leaving your community and facing your fears it’s excellent reading Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...

  9. 5 out of 5

    A.L. Lester

    Wonderful novella set in a world ravaged by climate breakdown. Millions have died. Those remaining scrape out an existence in the remaining cities, spinning fibre out of reclaimed plastic bags, getting their protein from eggs twice a week, scavenging through what once was in the Back Then, about eighty years ago, as far as I could work out. A percentage of people are infected with Cad, a sort of symbiote that can manipulate its host in a limited sort of way...through fear or excessive caution to Wonderful novella set in a world ravaged by climate breakdown. Millions have died. Those remaining scrape out an existence in the remaining cities, spinning fibre out of reclaimed plastic bags, getting their protein from eggs twice a week, scavenging through what once was in the Back Then, about eighty years ago, as far as I could work out. A percentage of people are infected with Cad, a sort of symbiote that can manipulate its host in a limited sort of way...through fear or excessive caution to improve survival. Our hero is Reid, a young woman who has been contacted by one of the domes, centres where knowledge and tech is supposed to have survived. She's offered a place at the University. But it's days travel away. And no-one ever comes back. I've read Premee Mohamed's Apple Tree Throne and loved both her writing and storytelling. Similarly this...it's delicate and thoughtful and the worldbuilding and attention to detail is beautiful. Reid's world is completely believable. The shadow of ours hangs over it--its a howl against what we've already done to our descendants as well as a fantastic story. It's a beautiful dystopia, with hope.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chiara Liberio

    This speculative, coming-of-age novella by Indo-Caribbean Canadian author Premee Mohamed, plunges us into a post-apocalyptic future where survivors live a rudimentary life on dilapidated campus ruins and communities are scattered and divided by vast unexplored no man’s lands …. The only places relatively unaffected are a few phantomatic universities sheltered by glass domes nobody has ever seen. This world is plagued by CAD, a fungus and symbiont that inhabits, subjugates and ultimately destroys This speculative, coming-of-age novella by Indo-Caribbean Canadian author Premee Mohamed, plunges us into a post-apocalyptic future where survivors live a rudimentary life on dilapidated campus ruins and communities are scattered and divided by vast unexplored no man’s lands …. The only places relatively unaffected are a few phantomatic universities sheltered by glass domes nobody has ever seen. This world is plagued by CAD, a fungus and symbiont that inhabits, subjugates and ultimately destroys human bodies. It shows as blue arabesques moving through the body on the skin like a live tattoo and, to ensure its own survival, controls the hosts’ minds to prevent dangerous actions. Reid, who is also affected, receives a letter of acceptance from a university, but these places are so remote they might as well be imaginary. Will she leave her mother and community behind? This book is described as hopepunk, a term coined by author AlexandraRowland denoting a genre characterised by resistance, by the pull to move forward despite adversities, fear and cynicism. Aptly, the novel offers a nuanced exploration of Reid’s conflict as she ponders whether to stick with her community or dare to look beyond the present circumstances to places working toward progress. I found the symbiont fascinating and relevant as it is central to the notion of entanglement and inhabiting the ruins that dominate the current eco-critical debate. The account of the past resembles our not so memorable present, but it is worldbuilding that stands out as Reid takes us by the hand to explore her community, its challenges and the way it is made sustainable. More than an action novel, this s is a part psychological novel that takes us around a new world and explores the protagonist's dilemma. The central idea reminded me of Nnedi Okorafor’s highly imaginative Binti (new university, contamination with other species) and, like Binti this interesting, clearly written, accessible coming of ag enovel is certainly very suitable for adults and #youngadults. The open-ended finale seems to promise a follow-up. Really interesting. 3.5 My thanks to the publisher for an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    LOVED this, wish it had been longer!! very excited to read the rest of the author’s works

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    I’m the first to review this book. I do like that. Ready, set, go… There’s a reason I didn’t request Mohamed’s sequel to Beneath The Rising when it showed up on Netgalley recently, despite the fact that overall the first one was actually quite good. It isn’t an altogether well realized reason, but it’s there…there’s just something about the author’s writing that doesn’t quite work for me or, more specifically, doesn’t work as a long form investment and her BtR books tend to be long. Some of it I’m the first to review this book. I do like that. Ready, set, go… There’s a reason I didn’t request Mohamed’s sequel to Beneath The Rising when it showed up on Netgalley recently, despite the fact that overall the first one was actually quite good. It isn’t an altogether well realized reason, but it’s there…there’s just something about the author’s writing that doesn’t quite work for me or, more specifically, doesn’t work as a long form investment and her BtR books tend to be long. Some of it is to do with the writing or overwriting, but the main thing is that ubiquitous not quite but kinda sorta YA thing they have going on. I figured that a novella (albeit a long one, of course, at 170 pages) might be a safer bet, but there it is again, the perpetual coming of age theme, the teenage characters, the is it or isn’t it YA question? Mind you, for some readers it wouldn’t matter and for some it might even be a draw, but I am a staunch believer in age appropriateness and in my book YA should be left for young adults. Which is to say that Mohamed’s books leave me wonting. Despite how interesting they are. Despite her worldbuilding. And all that. But to be fair, there are plenty of good things here in this dystopian tale and yes, mainly it is the worldbuilding. Following a series of tragedies of climate and manmade manner, the world has become fairly inhospitable and survival is tough. The main protagonist and everyone she knows live in an abandoned office complex where privation abounds. And then she gets a college admission letter, a glimpse of normalcy, but so much more than that…a promise of a happier tomorrow, a chance to have a nicer life. Of course, that would mean leaving behind all and everyone she knows. And that’s what this book is about, arriving at a lifechanging decision. A theme universal enough that anyone of any age can relate to. Which is why this isn’t all the way YA. There just aren’t enough childish things to put away in this bleak world prior to entering any sort of adulthood. Still, for me it would probably be more relatable and engaging with older protagonists. Am I an ageist? Yeah. Does this author even write books with adult protagonists? No idea. Is she talented? Yes, definitely. Should you read this book? That’s up to you entirely. I’ve done my best to sum up my opinions and thoughts on it. The official description, cover and title are all very enticing. It didn’t quite work for me, but it was a quick enough of a read not to mind that too much. The dystopian aspect it of was very well done and apparently now there’s a subgenre to reflect any presence of optimism, which is…ok. That’s all, folks. Thanks Netgalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Milou

    I don’t read a lot of dystopian books, though I can enjoy them from time to time. But something about this cover and the title intrigued me and so I requested it from Netgalley. And I am so glad I did. This novella is a small and almost intimate story about a young woman having to make a choice, and it is superbly written. The dialogue felt completely natural and the main characters inner voice was done spot on. It has been a while since I read something that flowed so natural and easy. I am sure I don’t read a lot of dystopian books, though I can enjoy them from time to time. But something about this cover and the title intrigued me and so I requested it from Netgalley. And I am so glad I did. This novella is a small and almost intimate story about a young woman having to make a choice, and it is superbly written. The dialogue felt completely natural and the main characters inner voice was done spot on. It has been a while since I read something that flowed so natural and easy. I am sure this book will make an amazing audiobook. I really liked the idea of Cad… a kind of parasite living inside people that can alter their behaviour to protect their host… until they are done with them and painfully kill of the people. It is a hereditary disease, that spread like wildfire after abortion, sex-ed and anticonseptive were banned. A whole series of other tragedies has hit the earth as well both regarding climate and manmade, creating a world of settlements fighting for survival where knowledge has gone. I loved the idea how they used the plastic left behind by previous generations, because they cannot make their own anymore and the landfills are still aplenty. In this world we follow Reid, who gets a letter that she has been accepted at a legendary university no one knows is even real. She has to choose between staying with her mother who needs her help to get by, or go escape the daily struggle to survive and work on a chance to fix the world. And that is all this novella is really… a superbly written, character driven story with a fascinating world as backdrop. And I adored it. I really hope Premee isn’t done with Reid, or at least this world, yet, because I need more!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angharad

    3.5 stars This is probably the only novella that I have ever felt should have been longer. Another Cad-related scene or two would have made this nearly perfect for me. Cad as an idea was very unsettling and interesting and I enjoyed every instance where it reared its creepy head. I would have especially loved one more gruesome encounter like the one that gave me Princess Mononoke and The Troop flashbacks. This is a quieter tale than those works however, with more introspection and emotional confl 3.5 stars This is probably the only novella that I have ever felt should have been longer. Another Cad-related scene or two would have made this nearly perfect for me. Cad as an idea was very unsettling and interesting and I enjoyed every instance where it reared its creepy head. I would have especially loved one more gruesome encounter like the one that gave me Princess Mononoke and The Troop flashbacks. This is a quieter tale than those works however, with more introspection and emotional conflict (which was spot on) and was told very effectively through the writing style. I wish more young adult stories (or with young characters that appeal to teens) were written this way. I will definitely be reading more of this author's work, for the great ideas and the style! I would definitely read a sequel novella or another story in this Cad-infested setting, it has real potential. Many thanks to Netgalley and ECW Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  15. 4 out of 5

    🤓 Mardi 📚

    The Annual Migration of Clouds encompasses the affect of climate disaster, genetic disease and the need to move beyond a comfort zone. This is the first reading experience with Premee Mohamed and is one of the most beautiful and poetic novellas I have read. I was immersed in the words Mohamed chose, she touched all senses. The ebb and flow of pace kept me interested and I hope there is a follow up novella to learn more of Reid’s journey. There is a sense of stream of consciousness in her writing The Annual Migration of Clouds encompasses the affect of climate disaster, genetic disease and the need to move beyond a comfort zone. This is the first reading experience with Premee Mohamed and is one of the most beautiful and poetic novellas I have read. I was immersed in the words Mohamed chose, she touched all senses. The ebb and flow of pace kept me interested and I hope there is a follow up novella to learn more of Reid’s journey. There is a sense of stream of consciousness in her writing, which I appreciate in any written work. Her style of writing is unique and may be challenging for some. For me, I loved it and highly recommend the read. #netgalley #arc

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    With Thanks to Premee Mohamed for an advanced readers copy of this audiobook. 3* The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Canada, and follows Reid a young women who has just been accepted into Howse one of the last remaining universities. But not everyone in her life is happy for her to make this journey, Reid is only host to a CAD, a fungal infection that lives in a symbiotic relationship with its host, and also warrants a painful death sentence. This moving Novella, follows a young women's battle With Thanks to Premee Mohamed for an advanced readers copy of this audiobook. 3* The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Canada, and follows Reid a young women who has just been accepted into Howse one of the last remaining universities. But not everyone in her life is happy for her to make this journey, Reid is only host to a CAD, a fungal infection that lives in a symbiotic relationship with its host, and also warrants a painful death sentence. This moving Novella, follows a young women's battle for survival and independence.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Lee

    I straight up adored this book. Loved it so much I forced my friend to join me in writing a rather long conversational review of it, which was published by the Ancillary Review of Books. If you'd like to experience two lit nerds nerding out about a fantastic book, the review is here: The Tangible and Ephemeral Intimacies of Climate Fiction: Review of The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed. I straight up adored this book. Loved it so much I forced my friend to join me in writing a rather long conversational review of it, which was published by the Ancillary Review of Books. If you'd like to experience two lit nerds nerding out about a fantastic book, the review is here: The Tangible and Ephemeral Intimacies of Climate Fiction: Review of The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    This is the kind of post-apocalyptic fiction that many of us have been asking for. It isn't merely bleak or merely hopeful; it's about climate change devastation, and the hardship of adapting it, but it's also about that adaptation, and the new expectations and loves and pride that could emerge. We follow a young woman who's gotten the rare opportunity to leave her tiny village for a big university where they have real resources and she'll have a chance at a happy life. But she'll have to leave This is the kind of post-apocalyptic fiction that many of us have been asking for. It isn't merely bleak or merely hopeful; it's about climate change devastation, and the hardship of adapting it, but it's also about that adaptation, and the new expectations and loves and pride that could emerge. We follow a young woman who's gotten the rare opportunity to leave her tiny village for a big university where they have real resources and she'll have a chance at a happy life. But she'll have to leave behind her mother, the boy she's always had a crush on, and the way of life she's been raised to hone herself for. At novella length, nothing drags. It's all about what decision she'll make, and what the world may one day be like. Don't skip it. Full disclosure: an ARC of this book was sent to me for a blurb. I decided to add it to Goodreads and write a review because I liked it that much.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    Thank you to Libro.fm for providing me with an ALC in exchange for an honest review! I enjoyed this one while I was reading it, but ultimately don't think it'll be a book that will stay with me for a long time. That being said, I think this is a solid novella that asks a lot of interesting questions, and I would highly recommend the audiobook - the narrator does a fantastic job and I definitely feel like it enhanced my reading experience. I do feel like overall, this book would've benefitted from Thank you to Libro.fm for providing me with an ALC in exchange for an honest review! I enjoyed this one while I was reading it, but ultimately don't think it'll be a book that will stay with me for a long time. That being said, I think this is a solid novella that asks a lot of interesting questions, and I would highly recommend the audiobook - the narrator does a fantastic job and I definitely feel like it enhanced my reading experience. I do feel like overall, this book would've benefitted from being at least 50 pages longer - there was a lot of ground covered, and not in as much depth as I'd personally have liked for the questions being asked. I think this novella definitely reads a little more on the literary side, which I personally really liked, but I know isn't everyone's cup of tea.

  20. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    A thought-provoking, intelligent dystopian novella set in a post-pandemic, post-climate change Alberta seeing a group of survivors trying to eke out an existence. Among them is Reid, infected with an invasive mind-altering fungi, she jumps at the chance to find more answers when she gets an invitation to join one of the last outposts of 'pre-disaster' society. The only problem is that she's torn between wanting to go and not wanting to leave her mother and the community behind to fend for themse A thought-provoking, intelligent dystopian novella set in a post-pandemic, post-climate change Alberta seeing a group of survivors trying to eke out an existence. Among them is Reid, infected with an invasive mind-altering fungi, she jumps at the chance to find more answers when she gets an invitation to join one of the last outposts of 'pre-disaster' society. The only problem is that she's torn between wanting to go and not wanting to leave her mother and the community behind to fend for themselves. Great narration by Eva Tavares and recommended for fans of Emily St. John or Cherie Dimalie. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ALC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Serena Coleman

    Thanks to #NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a fair review. In a dystopian future the world has been ravaged by climate disaster, our protagonist Reid lives within a small community eking out an existence in the remains of a city. There is no electricity, no way to regain the knowledge lost in previous generations, a shrinking population ravaged by a semi-sentient parasite, called Cad. Reid and her mother are both infected. Reid has been invited to go to Howse University, a Thanks to #NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a fair review. In a dystopian future the world has been ravaged by climate disaster, our protagonist Reid lives within a small community eking out an existence in the remains of a city. There is no electricity, no way to regain the knowledge lost in previous generations, a shrinking population ravaged by a semi-sentient parasite, called Cad. Reid and her mother are both infected. Reid has been invited to go to Howse University, a mysterious enclave of knowledge & scientific research. It’s a future she has always dreamed of, but now it is within her grasp she is torn by her conflicted feelings. Is she selfish - or foolish? How can she abandon her mother and the only community she has ever known? Does Howse even exist beneath its fabled dome? What knowledge might they have to share with her? A cure for Cad? I found this story, which could have been bleak, intrinsically hopeful. The community is self supporting, people pull together and look out for each other, encouraging Reid not to settle but to search for something more. I hope the author chooses to continue Reid’s story, I would love to follow her to Howse and learn more about Cad and Reid’s battle against its growing control over her body.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaye Viner

    This was a beautiful cli fi novella about a young person struggling to detach from a close survivalist community for the promise of a different life. I loved the blend of emotional nuance with the practical, how seamless everything felt so that even though the story does familiar things, nothing felt like it had been seen before, or that it was every common, or ordinary. Each page felt alive with vibrant desperate energy. I've never seen such humanity in a story of survival at the end of the wor This was a beautiful cli fi novella about a young person struggling to detach from a close survivalist community for the promise of a different life. I loved the blend of emotional nuance with the practical, how seamless everything felt so that even though the story does familiar things, nothing felt like it had been seen before, or that it was every common, or ordinary. Each page felt alive with vibrant desperate energy. I've never seen such humanity in a story of survival at the end of the world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    ARC given in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it’s concept! The characters were well developed and although it’s set in a future nearly 100 years in the future, all the new words and development of the disease that brought them there, were easily understandable. I was genuinely sad when it ended because it’s right at the start of what could be another longer story for the main character. Hope to read more from this author!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Terri Favro

    An amazing work of storytelling. Premee Mohamed builds a believable big picture of a dystopic world and also writes of fraught relationships between a teenage girl, her mother and community. The writing is dynamic, poetic, high energy. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS by Premee Mohamed is a great dystopian novella! This book is about Reid, who lives in a world ravaged by climate disaster, and has a mind-altering fungi called Cad. Then she must decide whether or not to leave her mother when she’s offered a spot at University. . I really enjoyed the concise set up for this world as we learn about Reid and her life. Within only 155 pages the writing immerses you right away into this world and into Reid’s thinking. I liked how this fu THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS by Premee Mohamed is a great dystopian novella! This book is about Reid, who lives in a world ravaged by climate disaster, and has a mind-altering fungi called Cad. Then she must decide whether or not to leave her mother when she’s offered a spot at University. . I really enjoyed the concise set up for this world as we learn about Reid and her life. Within only 155 pages the writing immerses you right away into this world and into Reid’s thinking. I liked how this future world mirrors what could happen to us and yet there is hope. The main themes of community, family and the desire to live are endearing. This book makes me excited to continue to read more dystopian fiction! . Thank you to ECW Press for my gifted review copy!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I absolutely loved this novella, the only negative I could offer is that I want to know what happens next! I would happily read more from this author and that cover is so beautiful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nora

    Not to go all STEM major in this review, but the science in this book was super interesting. I’m not 100% how specifically accurate/feasible everything was, but the setting seemed very tangible and well-developed despite being a novella. The conflict Reid was facing is one I think many people face at some point in their life, though oftentimes less permanent and direct than the situation here, of whether to pursue a new opportunity or stick with what’s comfortable. The side characters were great Not to go all STEM major in this review, but the science in this book was super interesting. I’m not 100% how specifically accurate/feasible everything was, but the setting seemed very tangible and well-developed despite being a novella. The conflict Reid was facing is one I think many people face at some point in their life, though oftentimes less permanent and direct than the situation here, of whether to pursue a new opportunity or stick with what’s comfortable. The side characters were great and Cad was a fascinating concept, especially since research has shown that fungi quite literally possess intelligence, though necessarily in the exact way we view it. Sometimes the prose itself was a bit hard to follow and I definitely had to go back and reread a few sections, but overall it was a wholesome and intense read. Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne Logan

    Lots of bloggers participate in Novellas for November, which is basically just an annual campaign to read more novellas this month. It’s a worthy cause because so many novellas are overlooked simply because they aren’t considered serious enough with their shorter page count (why do we consider books that are super long ‘serious’?) I’d like to say I was organized and consciously planned my reading of novella The Annual Migration of Clouds by Alberta author Premee Mohamed for this month, but it wa Lots of bloggers participate in Novellas for November, which is basically just an annual campaign to read more novellas this month. It’s a worthy cause because so many novellas are overlooked simply because they aren’t considered serious enough with their shorter page count (why do we consider books that are super long ‘serious’?) I’d like to say I was organized and consciously planned my reading of novella The Annual Migration of Clouds by Alberta author Premee Mohamed for this month, but it was Naomi’s review over at Consumed by Ink that pushed me to give this one a go now, as it had been languishing on my shelf for a few months. I don’t often say this n my reviews, but I truly wish this book was longer because I would have loved to follow these characters for hundreds of more pages. Plot Summary Set in the future in Edmonton, Alberta once the foretold climate disaster has done all the terrible things scientists said it would, Reid and her mother are living their daily, exhausting but somewhat stable lives. Society has come together as best as possible to keep going; there are doctors, there is enough food but just barely, and everyone basically works day and night to keep the food supply going by growing their own plants, weaving fibers from recycled plastic, and hunting skinny wild rabbits when in need of extra meat, which is scarce. There is no more electricity, internet, or technology of any kind. The story opens with a jolt of exciting news in Reid’s life; against extremely unlikely odds, she has been accepted into the ‘domes’, which is essentially a university one must apply to with an essay submission. Not much is known about life there, but it’s rumoured to be one of the last few places on earth that life resembles the ‘before’ times, which is the life of abundance we currently enjoy. But Reid is torn over whether she should go because she doesn’t want to abandon her mother, who is sick with “CAD”, an illness that has ravaged humankind as a parasite that slowly and painfully kills its human host. My Thoughts Climate fiction is popping up more and more these days, and why wouldn’t it? We are constantly getting reports of how dire life is going to be for our future generations if we don’t cut our emissions, so this is a ripe area for dystopian stories to bloom. Much of what’s coming from this genre is simply about survival, trying to live one’s life in this new, unhospitable world. Not surprisingly, this can cause quite a bit of anxiety when reading, and I definitely feel that, especially when it takes place in the very province you currently live in (see my review of Watershed for more on that). And although I felt that same anxiety reading this novella, I was thankfully distracted by the very compelling problem that Reid faces, torn between the love of her mother and the hope that life may hold something more for her. Because of its short length, we leave Reid before she leaves the community, but I am dying to know how things work out for her, and how the author would create this exciting new world that hints of astonishing technological advances. Author Premee Mohamed The disdain these characters hold for the us in the ‘before’ times, (i.e. you and me) is something I think of when the affects of climate change are mentioned. The careless way many of us are living now is something that will have an end date, and future generations will no doubt resent our wasteful lifestyles. These characters remark on how much plastic is left in landfills, and the fact that they can’t make anymore, but luckily we disposed of so much of if its the one thing they don’t believe they will run out of anytime soon. It’s the only thing that survived. This is also the first dystopian novel I’ve come across that specifically references what Indigenous peoples did once civilization started to break down: “The Indigenous people here under centuries of colonizers, till we broke the world and they quietly, nearly overnight, packed up and left the cities together, to live better on the land that their invaders were too busy dying and fighting to lay claim to any longer” (p. 91 of ARC). Considering many Indigenous people still have a strong connection to the land and it is a cornerstone of their culture, I’m not surprised Mohamed is predicting they will ride this out much better than us settlers – seems like a safe bet! The fact that the CAD illness plays a role in society’s downfall doesn’t seem like the major issue I thought it may be when I first started reading – if anything, it seems to handicap some, but they deal with it, sort of how we slowly move along with our Covid issues – things are no longer at a standstill, they are just…complicated. So are books like this meant as a warning, do they change our behavior after reading them? I’m not sure this book will change my behavior per se, I already try to do quite a bit to reduce mine and my family’s environmental impact, but it definitely makes me grateful for the easy way we live our life now. To read the rest of my reviews, please visit my blog: https://ivereadthis.com/ Sign up for my newsletter here: https://ivereadthis.com/subscribe/ Or follow me on social media! 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  29. 5 out of 5

    A.C. Wise

    I’m a big fan of Premee Mohamed’s work, and this latest novella did not disappoint! Set in a post climate-disaster world, the novella opens with Reid receiving a coveted letter from Howse University in one of the domes, a near-magical place no one has ever come back from, but which promises a better life. She’s thrilled at first, until her mother begins to sow seeds of doubt in her mind – what if the university isn’t real, what if it’s only a scam, what will their neighborhood do without her. Reid I’m a big fan of Premee Mohamed’s work, and this latest novella did not disappoint! Set in a post climate-disaster world, the novella opens with Reid receiving a coveted letter from Howse University in one of the domes, a near-magical place no one has ever come back from, but which promises a better life. She’s thrilled at first, until her mother begins to sow seeds of doubt in her mind – what if the university isn’t real, what if it’s only a scam, what will their neighborhood do without her. Reid is already torn, plagued with guilt over leaving her mother behind and the thought of the extra work that will be pushed off onto her neighbors and friends. Their life is already one of scarcity and scraping by, and making matter worse, Reid and her mother both have a genetic disease known as Cad, a kind of parasitic, symbiotic creature living inside them that could go off at any minute, causing them to die in horrible pain. Reid worries what will happen to her mother when she’s gone. She worries what will happen to her neighbors. She worries what will happen to herself. Reid’s best friend Henryk encourages her to go, as do several others. She wants to go, but that doesn’t stop her fear or her guilt. When a group of hunters offers Reid the opportunity to join them in bringing down wild boar, she sees her chance. If she’s successful in the hunt, Reid can leave her mother set-up with a nest egg in meat for trade before she goes. Hunting boar is dangerous however, and Reid knows the Cad inside her will go to great lengths to protect its host. The novella is beautifully-written in its exploration of environmental disaster, community, and complicated family relationships. Mohamed does a wonderful job of paralleling the Cad Reid inherits from her mother with the fears and guilt her mother passes down in a passive-aggressive fashion. Her mother accuses Reid of being selfish, and instead of being happy for Reid and trusting her, she lets her own selfish fears of being alone manifest in trying to guilt Reid into staying. There are hints at some underlying jealously in their relationship, even in the midst of the love. Some element of Reid’s mother seems to want to hold her back, resenting that she may have the opportunity for a better life when she herself never had that chance. The near-paralyzing fear Reid’s mother tries to infect her with is mirrored in the way the Cad literally freezes Reid when Hen is threatened by wild dogs and she wants to help him – both cause her pain in order to keep her safe, which is ultimately a means of protecting themselves. Mohamed strikes a delicate balance in showing a family relationship which could be toxic or genuinely loving, symbiotic or parasitic. The question of whether Howse University is real is left open, underlining that life is complicated and full of risk and unknowns. The decisions Reid and her community face aren’t easy, and there’s always a chance of someone getting hurt, but should that stop them from living their lives and taking their chances on a better future? There is a comfort in the idea of sticking to tradition and what is known, over forging a new path through the world. Again, the fact that the disease is hereditary speaks in its own way to the idea of parents wanting what is best for their children, but smothering them in their efforts to protect them, versus children wanting to live their own lives and being forced to rebel in hurtful ways in order to do so. The Annual Migration of Clouds does an excellent job of exploring all of this, and does an excellent job with all the relationships in the community as well. It’s a plausible imagining of post-collapse society and the way humanity has a tendency to survive and find ways to carry on. I also have to call out the fact that this book is absolutely stunning as a physical object. There’s a silky, textured feel to the cover, and the cover art by Veronica Park is gorgeous and just keeps getting better the longer you look at it. The design is echoed throughout the book with the interior illustration that heads each chapter. If you like books-as-objects, this is one that I recommend grabbing in hard copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

    Premee Mohamed’s beautiful novella (her third this year) The Annual Migration of Clouds, while set in a dystopian future, is more about a young woman saying goodby and leaving home, like birds leaving the nest, seasons turning, the movement of natural forces. It focuses on hard-won hope in the face of uncertainty rather than the devastating loss of a broken world. The Annual Migration of Clouds dramatizes the breaking away of nineteen year-old Reid from a remarkable and close-knit community. It h Premee Mohamed’s beautiful novella (her third this year) The Annual Migration of Clouds, while set in a dystopian future, is more about a young woman saying goodby and leaving home, like birds leaving the nest, seasons turning, the movement of natural forces. It focuses on hard-won hope in the face of uncertainty rather than the devastating loss of a broken world. The Annual Migration of Clouds dramatizes the breaking away of nineteen year-old Reid from a remarkable and close-knit community. It has survived the multiple terrible storms and other catastrophes tearing down all communication, transportation and government institutions that had once bound the world together. The story opens with her receiving a letter of acceptance (a chance in a million) to a university that is thought to exist (no one is really sure) within one of the great domes where the wealthy of the world protected themselves from environmental and economic collapse. It’s believed that much of the technology of the past world, known as the Back Then, survives in these enclaves, but no one really knows. The rest of the story (and I don’t think I’m giving away too much here) is about leaving home rather than arriving in a new place. Reid is beset by doubts as her mother tries to hold her back, pleading that she can’t be spared from the subsistence community that has survived on the campus of an abandoned university. Everyone has a well-defined role to play. Reid’s mother is getting older, and both she and her daughter have a heritable fungal disease known as Cad for short. Her mother plays quite effectively on Reid’s guilt about leaving while other members of the community cheer her on to make the move. ....... There are unanswered questions inevitably in Reid’s tortured weeks leading up to her decision about whether to leave or not. Her role in the community, her relationship with her mother, her near romance with Henryk, her friend from childhood, her friendships with old family friends, her illness, all confront her with pressures to stay, to change, to take chances, to play it safe. She has to still all those voices so that she can finally hear her own, but it’s a messy process that takes its toll. In the end, though, I find this a profoundly hopeful book on many levels. For one, the community Mohamed brings to life, though it has its violent side, is a model of cooperation in spite of the scavenging life it imposes on its members. Food is harvested from gardens and hunting and is shared through a system of bartering. Mounds of trash plastic left behind by the Back Then world is carefully spun into thread for cloth. Nothing is wasted, no one is forgotten, all add their bit to keep things going. Most of all it is hopeful about the possibility for agency on the part of a nineteen year-old. In the midst of deprivation of a post-apocalyptic world, a devastating illness, the lack of information and certainty, even about the existence and location of the university she may be going to, Reid still pushes through to make a choice of her own. The ending is messy, the choice leaves its wounds, no one is sure what will happen next, but there remains a broken legged kind of hope. Read the full review at SciFi Mind

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