Title: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author: Hank Green
Genre/Themes: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Social Commentary
Blurb from Goodreads
The Carls just appeared.
Roaming through New York City at three AM, twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube.
The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.
This novel was incredibly fascinating. I’m actually really not sure how to review it. It’s a contemporary meets science fiction meets social commentary on our world today and I loved every second of it!
The story is just strange. No two ways about it. But it’s strangeness is appealing and makes for a unique reading experience.
It’s about large robotic-like sculptures appearing overnight in 64 different locations across the world and humanity’s reaction to the seemingly unarguable belief that they are not of this earth.
And April May, the MC, becomes a conduit for humanity because she is the very first person who discovered one of these structures in New York. So due to this position she finds herself in, and due to a YouTube video of her discovery, she becomes famous and the story deals with how she navigates the murky waters of insta-fame and celebrity in the social media age.
And as a lead character, April May is utterly compelling to read about. She’s at times abhorrent with how fame hungry she is but wow is she so beautifully human and deliciously flawed.
This whole book felt like an incredibly immersive reading experience. The weirdness of the strange robotic sculptures, the cast of characters, the style of narrative…
It all made for a book that I couldn’t put down and for a story that will play on my mind for some time to come as it really posed some thought provoking questions about humanity and political agenda.