Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton is a stand-alone science fiction novel that, although can be considered dystopian or post-apocalyptic by some, really goes over what would happen when a lonesome old astronomer and a crew of returning astronauts from a space exploration mission discovers that all contact with humans on Earth has been ceased. Ladies and gentleman, what a book this is! When you find a slow burner of a book and yet can’t find yourself putting it down, then you know you’ve got yourself a winner! I’ll be very honest here. I haven’t been reading for a while and Good Morning, Midnight was not the first on my to-read list. In fact, I didn’t even know about this book till later! I’ve initially tried two very popular standalone sci-fi novels that had won numerous awards in the past but I’ve given up after three or four chapters in. It just wasn’t able to hold my attention. This just goes to prove the old adage of “different strokes for different folks”. So I did a little digging around, found this recommendation from a random blog and boy was I glad to have selected the book as my next read!
If you’re looking for a hardcore dystopian or post-apocalyptic setting type of backdrop, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Although the theme of Good Morning, Midnight can be considered survival, it’s more about being able to relate to the characters and learning about their flaws and weaknesses. And yes, the best part about the story is the characters. I loved how both Augustine and Sully are portrayed as broken characters. They are each very much flawed as a human being and that gives way on explaining how they are in the situation they are in at the moment. What does this mean? Well, it means that the book and story can be pretty depressing. Definitely not something you’d want to read if you’re currently down at the moment. The bleak and helpless situation the characters are thrown into doesn’t help one bit. But if that’s your thing, this book will be right up your alley.
The interaction between the characters seems very real, genuine and not forced. Personally, I loved the ending. I can see why many others wouldn’t though. Honestly, I had a feeling that it would end up that way based on how the story slowly progressed. The author told the story in a way that put the characters in the forefront and most important. The situation they were in took a somewhat semi backseat. It was obviously the theme of the story but what is most important is getting to know the characters. Could you imagine yourself in a similar situation? What regrets would you have? How far would ambition push you to the point of forcing you to choose between your loved ones or the pursuit of higher knowledge? Many readers will probably hate Augustine and label him a sociopath but deep down, many of us inhibit similar patterns of behavior. I love the author for painting him in such a way. The same goes for Sully.
I’m a very picky guy when it comes to books. If it doesn’t manage to hold or capture my attention within the first four to five chapters, I’m most likely putting it down and choosing another. For me to have finished a book from start to end and not only in such a short period (I finished this book in two days) but have only positive things to say afterwards, that is high praise for the author. This book is absolutely amazing and I hope it finds its way to more readers. Many post-apocalyptic stories are fun to read but here is something to change the pace a little. If you’re open to that idea, I have a feeling you’ll similarly enjoy this book as much as I have! Plus, it’s a stand-alone novel so no commitment is necessary afterwards!