Tricia Sullivan's Occupy Me was published by Titan Books in September 2018 (this novel was originally published in the UK in 2016 and is now made available to the US readers).
Information about Tricia Sullivan:
Tricia Sullivan is an award-winning writer of SF, Fantasy and YA. Her third novel, Dreaming In Smoke, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best SF novel. Her work has encompassed cyberpunk, space opera and near-future satire. Her novels have been shortlisted for the BSFA Award, the Tiptree Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. An American, she has lived in the UK since 1995.
Information about Occupy Me:
Pearl is an angel. She works for the Resistance - an organisation dedicated to improving the world by stealth; by tiny, incremental acts of kindness. But Pearl also has wings. They blossom at moments of stress. And she is strong; an extraordinary, terrifying strength capable of breaking the fabric of reality. The Resistance can’t account for that, nor for Pearl’s mysterious origins. All anyone knows is that she appeared in a New York junkyard in the early 21st century.
Truth is, Pearl doesn’t really know what she is, let alone who she is.
Now she is on pell-mell chase across the world. In pursuit of a killer wearing another man’s body. The killer carries a briefcase that is a ragged hole in the Universe. A global conspiracy revolves around it. The nature of reality is determined by it. Pearl’s got to get the briefcase back - no matter how shocking its contents may turn out to be.
REVIEW: OCCUPY ME BY TRICIA SULLIVAN
Tricia Sullivan's Occupy Me was very much to my liking, because it's something different, clever and entertaining. It's a fresh and ambitious blend of science fiction, fantasy and mystery fiction with thriller elements. It instantly sinks its hooks into the reader due to its compellingly weird and unusual story that doesn't follow the typical, easy route. It's a challenging and rewarding reading experience for those who want to invest a bit of time into reading a complex and gradually unfolding story that has surreal elements.
Occupy Me was a nice surprise for me, because it's unlike anything I've read recently. It's a genre-bending masterpiece that is guaranteed to thrill readers who love challenging and original fiction. When I read this novel, I thought to myself that there's something about it that is slightly reminiscent of novels written by Douglas Adams, because the story is a bit strange and mind-boggling in the vein of his fiction.
This novel tells of Pearl, an angel, who works for the Resistance, which is a mysterious organisation. When she is on a flight from New York to London, she recognises one of the passengers as the man who stole something from her and caused her to come to Earth. Pearl confronts the man and tries to grab his briefcase, but things go badly wrong and the briefcase goes through the ceiling of the plane. Next Pearl and the man tumble over the roof of the plane and go over the side. Soon Pearl witnesses something immensely peculiar...
I won't write more about the story in this review, because I might end up revealing too much information about the plot twists. I'll only mention that the story is layered, unique and challenges the reader's perception of reality.
The author tells her story through the characters of Pearl, Dr Sorle, Alison and Marquita, and she uses different narrative modes to enhance the story.
Pearl is a fascinating protagonist, because she's an angel and a lesbian. She arrived mysteriously on Earth, because she was hijacked and the first thing she remembers is being trapped inside a refrigerator in a junkyard. Her hijacker has taken something from her - HD launcher - and she wants it back. She comes from a place she calls HD, the Higher Dimensions.
Dr Sorle is a physician whose body is occupied by another man who does ugly things. The other man can come into his body and control him. When his body is under the control of the other man, he can sense things that are being done, but can't do anything to affect what is going on; he just has to witness what happens.
Alison is a veterinarian who lives in Edinburgh, and Marquita is a woman who is responsible for Pearl joining the Resistance.
It's possible that the story may seem a bit confusing at first, but when you give it time and let it unfold at its own pace, you'll find yourself rewarded with entertaining, exciting and intelligent events. The story is a bit like a puzzle and the reader has to put all the pieces together to make sense of the happenings. The story requires almost undivided attention and concentration from its reader, because it has not been written for hasty readers who want instant gratification or an easy read.
What makes this novel especially fascinating is the author's way of infusing the story with such ideas, themes and issues as corruption, entropy, causality and higher dimensions. The author refers well to these things and allows her readers to think about them during the story.
One of the best things about this novel is that the story is sufficiently strange and surreal to please readers who enjoy reading mind-blowing fiction. Because I enjoy surreal elements and love well written surreal fiction that doesn't offer easy answers to readers, I was deeply fascinated by the story and its plot twists.
Before I end this review, I want to mention that this is the first novel I've read by Tricia Sullivan. Because I enjoyed the story very much and found it compelling, I look forward to exploring what the author's other novels are like.
Tricia Sullivan's Occupy Me is a charmingly original and weird speculative fiction novel. I can recommend it to readers who are looking for something new to read, because it's an amazing reading experience. If you're in need of compelling and original fiction that differs from the norm, you can't go wrong by picking up this novel, because it's a fascinatingly wild ride.
My final words are:
This novel is original and highly enjoyable speculative fiction!