The cover is so interesting to me, with the expression on her face and the northern lights in the background.
Camp Zero is Michelle Min Sterling's debut novel. It's a near-future cli-fi (science fiction with emphasis on climate change) with three main POVs. It's been out since the end of March, and already I've gotten so many emails from Amazon advertising it with other books.
Arguably the main POV of Camp Zero is Rose, a biracial (white/Korean) sex worker with a secret agenda who arrives at a worksite in northern Canada where a famous architect is building a new city. The second POV is Grant, an English professor/heir to billions who wants to escape his family's influence. He comes to the worksite thinking he'll be an English prof at the new college there, only to realize it's not built yet, so he tutors the construction workers. The third POV is a collective (we/us) perspective about an all-female scientific crew (includes LGBTQIA+ characters) at an even farther north research station. They've signed on for two years of isolation to study the climate, but they get a lot more than they bargained for and band ever closer together to survive.
This book was different from what I've been reading, which kept me interested. The cli-fi aspect was fresh, since a lot of cli-fi focuses on the more southern parts of the world, but this focused on what would happen in Canada. Some really cool concepts like the Floating City were done well, with not just the rich and wealthy in mind, but with a clear demonstration/criticism of how anyone but the top 1% would be treated in this scenario.
I'm not a huge fan of sex worker characters, since in books they're almost always sexually assaulted (or an attempt is made) and that's not a scenario I enjoy reading. This book was not an exception to that. I also struggled with the collective POV, even though the idea of their predicament and the types of characters were my favorites (shout out to badass lady scientists.) I think the collective POV kept me from connecting as well with these characters, so they always felt at arm's length (aka a very distant POV.) I also didn't find the ending very satisfying.
This book is for you if you are looking for cli-fi, want a biracial (white/Korean) POV, want a sex worker character who chose and feels empowered (in most scenarios) by her job, or are interested in trying a collective POV. This book is not for you if you are looking for deep POVs or are not in the mental space to read about sexual assault, the death of a partner, or a sex worker (regardless of if she chose it.)
Have you read Camp Zero? How did you feel about the collective POV? What did you think about the ending? Let's discuss in the comments!