Genre: Climate Fiction / Dystopia
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published: February 2022
Buy at Workman.com | Add to Goodreads
In a near future, trees have rendered the air unbreathable by producing toxic amounts of pollen in a cataclysmic climate event known as the Turning.
Humanity has survived, and Izabel, a young mother, has acclimatized to the sterile new world. The tenuous peace is shattered when a serial killer begins slashing the domes exposing people to the deadly pollen.
Trees in attack mode with poisonous pollen. An all-too-real climate apocalypse. Clean Air is a rousing examination of the repercussions of environmental destruction and the enduring trauma of loss.
The climate apocalypse has come and gone, and in the end it wasn’t the temperature climbing or the waters rising. It was the trees. The world became overgrown, creating enough pollen to render the air unbreathable.
In the decade since the event known as the Turning, humanity has rebuilt, and Izabel has gotten used to the airtight domes that now contain her life. She raises her young daughter, Cami, and attempts to make peace with her mother’s death. She tries hard to be satisfied with this safe, prosperous new world, but instead she just feels stuck.
And then the peace of her town is shattered. Someone starts slashing through the domes at night, exposing people to the deadly pollen—a serial killer. Almost simultaneously, Cami begins sleep-talking, having whole conversations about the murders that she doesn’t remember after she wakes. Izabel becomes fixated on the killer, on both tracking him down and understanding him. What could compel someone to take so many lives after years dedicated to sheer survival, with humanity finally flourishing again?
Suspenseful and startling, but also written with a wry, observant humor, Clean Air is the second novel from poet Sarah Blake, author of the award-winning literary debut Naamah. It will appeal to readers of The Need, The Leftovers, and Fever Dream as it probes motherhood, grief, control, and choice.Trees in attack mode with poisonous pollen. An all-too-real climate apocalypse. Book Spotlight – Clean Air by Sarah Blake @algonquinbooks @blakesarah #CleanAir Click To Tweet
A “fascinating, idiosyncratic second novel… The skillful blend of postapocalyptic science fiction, supernatural murder mystery, and domestic drama is unexpected and entirely engrossing.”
“Clean Air is an amazing blend of page-turning mystery, important commentary about environmental destruction, and poignant portraiture of maternal love. Sarah Blake is a poet, and it shows in the way she takes her brilliant premise to another level with her economical prose, distilled insights, and wonderfully disturbing imagery.”
—Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek
“Clean Air is a moving, suspenseful page-turner set in an eerily perfect post-apocalyptic bubble of climate demise. It’s a beautiful and harrowing story of motherhood and the fight for a hopeful future for the ones we love. Sarah Blake’s vivid and sharp observations of family, grief, and a world on the brink of collapse are so compelling that I eagerly raced to the last page. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Crissy Van Meter, author of Creatures
“Sarah Blake’s novel Clean Air provides the suspense of a first-rate thriller with nuanced characters whose world is shifting due to climate catastrophes. I turned the pages fast, wanting to know what happens and caring about the characters equally. The writing sings us into a future filled with chaos but also hope and beauty.”
—Toni Jensen, author of Carry
“Sarah Blake’s Clean Air is both a scintillating hunt for a serial killer and a pollen-flecked meditation on what we owe each other and the planet. I loved every page and didn’t want it to end.”
—Katie Williams, author of Tell the Machine Goodnight
“Clean Air is the work of a rare and casually powerful literary imagination. It is set in a future that feels all too real, a postapocalyptic novel that is both a family story and a thriller. It’s a remarkable book, a compelling read that haunts with its astuteness.”
—Joan Silber, author of Improvement
“Sarah Blake has travelled into the future to create a precise portrait of motherhood in this current moment, complete with one of the most fully realized children I have ever met on the page. Told with a poet’s economy and logic, Clean Air is a clear-eyed look at the terror and tenderness of motherhood, and a parent’s ordinary devotion in an extraordinary world. Be warned: you might not be able to put this book down until you reach its final page (and you’ll enjoy every minute of it).”
—Shruti Swamy, author of A House Is a Body
A “suspenseful ecological science fiction novel.”
About Sarah Blake:
Sarah Blake’s novel Naamah won the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction. Blake is also the author of the poetry collections Mr. West and Let’s Not Live on Earth. In 2013, she was awarded a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently lives in the UK.
A rousing examination of the repercussions of environmental destruction. Book Spotlight – Clean Air by @blakesarah @algonquinbooks #CleanAir @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration.
I would like to thank Algonquin Books for providing a digital copy of the book for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.
Image credit Canva.com
February 11, 2022 @ 12:03 pm
Sounds like an amazing book. And love your review on this. Would for sure add it to my reading list
February 11, 2022 @ 12:16 pm
Your choice of books is amazing,Ritu.Clean Air is showing us our future3 which looks very bleak.. Maybe not ours but the next generation. I am sure everyone will roam around with oxygen tanks and masks.
February 11, 2022 @ 6:14 pm
Your review is so vivid, I thot I was watching a trailer. It must be a very gripping novel. Will recommend to my friends who love reading thrillers.
February 12, 2022 @ 9:47 am
One more great book suggestion. I totally love the plot and this is my favorite genre but climate fiction sound unique which I haven’t heard before. Would love to grab my copy.
February 12, 2022 @ 10:23 am
Currently with the running situation this will make a good impact.
February 12, 2022 @ 1:34 pm
Books about climate change are always interesting although they leave us feeling terribly uncomfortable about what future holds for us. Good review. Would like to read it.
February 12, 2022 @ 2:13 pm
Climate change is a pressing subject and there are some brilliant writers with excellent takes on the topic. Thanks from bringing one such book and author to light.
February 12, 2022 @ 3:05 pm
I had goosebumps just reading the blurb!
February 12, 2022 @ 4:32 pm
Trres are life.The book review takes us to our future to depict the result of our present. Good choice of book to read
February 12, 2022 @ 7:06 pm
This is a very different take on climate apocalypse. The storyline seems so surreal. Loved your review. This book goes in my to read list.
February 12, 2022 @ 9:29 pm
I find dystopian novels so, so scary. Margaret Atwood gave me the creeps with The Handmaid’s Tale and this sounds no better. But then everytime I look around I do feel the world’s falling apart.
February 13, 2022 @ 2:18 pm
This book sounds super interesting especially given the ‘climate’ (pun intended) we live in- the details you’ve given make me want to order it straight away!
February 13, 2022 @ 2:19 pm
This book should be a wake up call, given as we are prone to forget our responsibilities towards the earth and environment so often! Thanks for sharing another great book, Ritu.
February 13, 2022 @ 2:19 pm
This book seems super timely and thanks to the amazing details you’ve given I plan to order it straight away!
February 13, 2022 @ 4:07 pm
Fabulous review. An avid reader myself, would love to check the book for myself.
February 13, 2022 @ 5:36 pm
A few years back I had read this book about how tress communicate with each other. Now I am waiting to read this books. Looks very interesting.
February 13, 2022 @ 6:59 pm
This book seems to be revolved around a very rare and interesting topic. I have never read any book from this sort of genre. I think my husband will like to read it.
February 13, 2022 @ 8:35 pm
This book looks amazing, and I liked its synopsis. I will definitely add it to my TBR.
February 13, 2022 @ 8:57 pm
I loved the trailer of the book. The topic too is interesting. Seems the promising one!
February 13, 2022 @ 9:47 pm
This book really sound an interesting read. Climate fiction is something that I never read before. I would love to read this one.
February 13, 2022 @ 10:11 pm
Does this also have an element of sci-fi metaverse attached to it? A lot of books these days connect the growth of Metaverse to the fact that climate change will force us to live inside pods.
February 13, 2022 @ 10:25 pm
After reading your review, it looks like this book is quite interesting. I will try to read it.
February 14, 2022 @ 1:21 am
Your choice of books are different but very interesting. I’m liking the plot fo this book and will definitely add it to my TBR
February 14, 2022 @ 2:42 am
I haven’t read Dystopian fiction though I have watched The Handmaid’s Tale and simply loved the series. Thanks for recommendation. As usual, I am in awe of the variety in your reading – a true bibliophile!
February 14, 2022 @ 11:55 pm
Very detailed review of this book. I presume it an interesting book for sure. Thanks for the review.
February 15, 2022 @ 2:39 am
After reading your, the book Seema to be interesting and I usually don’t miss on such plots, so shall get this book 🙂
February 15, 2022 @ 2:07 pm
This seems like an interesting read
April 19, 2022 @ 11:26 pm
As someone who suffers from a pollen allergy, this premise sounds extremely scary!