Weather and Beasts and Growing Things | Critical Book Review

Weather and Beasts and Growing Things by Charlotte Suttee is a daring exploration into an eco-fever-dream, cleverly merging dystopian sci-fi with the urgent whispers of climate disaster. While the narrative unfolds with inventive importance, its unique style sets it apart, offering a bare yet stylish portrayal of a world teetering on the edge.


A Dystopian Odyssey

In a century marked by climate chaos, we meet Stevven and Eli, two resilient individuals tending to a forbidden rooftop garden. Chased from their sanctuary, they embark on a perilous journey across a desolate landscape, guided only by rumors of safety in Sewanee. Yet, uncertainty looms, and safety remains an elusive concept.


Stylish Dystopia in Form and Concept

Weather and Beasts and Growing Things unfolds with a stylish flair, both in concept and form. The prose is punctuated with conjoined words and a scarcity of articles, creating sharp, needle-like paragraphs. While this may disorient at times, it injects the narrative with a sense of urgency and a unique, puzzle-like quality that beckons a second read.


Nature Writing in Sparse Beauty

For those seeking nature writing in tales of climate and weather, this book delivers. Spare yet specific, the one-word, three-word descriptions of the natural world evoke both knowledge and appreciation. The emphasis on nurturing a plant aligns seamlessly with the spare beauty of the nature writing, providing a fulfilling reading experience.


Eerily Quiet Dystopia

In the face of danger, vulnerability, and an elusive search for home, the narrative remains eerily quiet. Stevven’s internal struggles and the contemplative moments woven into the story contribute to a foggy past, adding layers to the perception of each moment. The quietude allows for introspection on the state of the world and the truths hidden within the narrative.


Raw and Real Protagonist

Stevven emerges as a multifaceted protagonist—brave, ferocious, scared, and soft. The raw and real portrayal adds authenticity, even if their actions may not always align with conventional heroism. The supporting characters, particularly Eli and Gino, enhance the narrative, forming a team that genuinely cares.


Stylish Contemplation, Slow Unraveling

The book’s stylish and contemplative nature serves it well, but it results in slower-moving sections, particularly through the middle. While some readers may find the sparseness and temporariness lacking momentum, those appreciating a thoughtful exploration of Earth and its inhabitants will discover a gem in Weather and Beasts and Growing Things.

Book Information

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Lethe PressScience Fiction / Dystopia210 pages9781590217580

Weather and Beasts and Growing Things by Charlotte Suttee is a daring exploration into an eco-fever-dream, cleverly merging dystopian sci-fi with the urgent whispers of climate disaster. While the narrative unfolds with inventive importance, its unique style sets it apart, offering a bare yet stylish portrayal of a world teetering on the edge. A Dystopian…