Book Review: The Seep

The Seep by Chana Porter


Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a survivor of an alien invasion. But The Seep didn’t kill everyone—it made them immortal and gave humanity a utopia. A world without poverty. Without war. Without scarcity. And everything is going well, until Trina’s wife decides she wants to begin anew. She wants to restart her life as a baby. And everything Trina wanted in life vanished.

so your wife decided to be reborn as a baby…

This was a delightfully weird book that nevertheless was such a beautiful exploration of grief and depression in a world where the gentle overseer only wanted to make everything better and bring happiness, no matter what.

I wasn’t prepared to spend half the book crying for no other reason than I was crying and trying to figure out why saltwater was falling from my eyes, but I did.

I also wasn’t prepared to love this as much as I did—with comparisons to Annihilation and the weirdness being emphasized in every review, I was leery as hell.

But this book is beautiful, and it is sad. And it is fantastic.

so you’ve decided to run away from all your problems…

After wallowing for five years, Trina is given a rude wake up call—her house (not hers, per se, since nothing belongs to anyone and everything belongs to everyone) is going to be repossessed if she doesn’t get her act together and start giving a damn.

And then Trina sees a child of the Compound alone and unafraid and decides she must save him from this strange new world—she must save him from The Seep, or at least help him adjust to whatever is going on with this world.

And she embarks on a quest that brings her past and future together, with the help of a really unhelpful pamphlet named Pam.

so you’re thinking of going on a vengeful quest…

The themes of this book are searing and thoughtful.

What does it really mean when we all are one? When peace rules, and poverty is no more and everyone is supposed to be happy and have literally anything they could ask for?

Does the past still matter? Can change exist with immortality?

What does it mean, to truly die?

What does it mean, to be truly human?

What does it mean, to steal another person’s face? Where is the line between cultural appropriation and homage?

And how can you say goodbye to someone you’d thought you’d be with forever?

Anywho, this is weird as fuck and yet easily understandable. There was a depth I wasn’t anticipating, and a hope and love that was unexpectedly beautiful and heartbreaking and hopeful all at once.

And the rep is fantastic. An #ownvoices book about a Jewish-American Indian trans woman, and so much queer (mostly sapphic) rep that made me so fucking happy to read.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

The Seep released January 21, 2020 from Soho Press.

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