Cli-Fi Novel Review – Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich

5th May 2017

I couldn’t wait to dive into this book, as it’s been hyped up by a lot of reviewers. So it’s with an element of sadness, that I report this novel came across as a book of two halves for me.

We follow Mitchell Zukor, who is a mathematician that calculates the chances of catastrophe occurring from a range of factors including; ecological collapse, natural disasters and global war. Mitchell lives in New York and his life is turned upside down when a storm slams into the city. Ironically, this book was written just before Hurricane Sandy hit New York. The first half of the book leading up to and including the storm, is engaging, informative and reads like a thriller. If the second half of the book had followed in this manner, then this would easily have been one of my favourite books in the cli-fi genre. But quite the opposite happened.

I will try to avoid giving away too many spoilers, but characters underwent unnecessary change and the plot took a turn for the bizarre. I am not sure if the book needed to end the way it did, and I felt disappointed by what had been such a great start. Perhaps I’m one of only a few who feel unhappy with the second half.

Whilst this novel had a great deal of potential, I would say be prepared for an adrenaline-pumping first half, followed by a mediocre second half.