There is a lot of negative things going on in our world; things that are causing us to separate from each other. One of these issues is climate change/global warming. David Barker’s Blue Gold is a Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction) Thriller that explores the topic of climate change; in a way that seems like a prophecy being foretold. Whether or not you believe in in climate change; Earth has limited resources, and a world without water can be a very real reality.
The dystopian future that Blue Gold takes place in, does not feel like fiction; it feels real. Similarly like the way the world “The Handmaiden’s Tale,” doesn’t seem so farfetched. David Barker excels in making the world and the characters feel familiar and that adds to the thrill of it. Blue Gold takes places primarily takes in the year 2028 and we follow OFWAT agents Freda Brightwell and Sim Atkins, as they are task with finding a terrorist responsible for several attacks and stopping them before they unleash Armageddon.
I italicized the word primarily for a reason. Blue Gold switches back and forth from different perspectives and different time periods. The book versions of World War Z and Queen of the Damned are good examples of this. However this was the one drawback I had with Blue Gold; so much so, I had to read the book twice. The time jumping often got confusing, so it was hard for me to keep track of the story. Some of the perspectives are not as interesting as others but they are all important to the overall story.
The main storyline with Freda and Sim is so fun, action packed, and at times heartfelt. They have the best chemistry with each other and the best dialogue too. The pair have an interesting dynamic because Freda is older than her partner(about 10 years) and she is Sim’s superior. Context clues in the book suggest she is also a nerdy millennial. (So many fun references.) What really makes Freda Brightwell the best character, in my opinion, is the traumatic instances she’s experience in her personal life and as an agent flesh her out. Thus making her feel relatable.
Sim Atkins, who’s real name is Simon; a perfect counter balance to Freda. He’s younger and a bit more accustomed to this world without water. His youthfulness makes up for Freda’s seriousness. Still his military experience and knowledge of satellites makes him a good partner for Brightwell. Yet it also causes him to act before he speaks, which puts their mission in jeopardy. Thus creating tension that makes you want to keep reading.
The are many other side characters; some good and some bad. Their stories expand all across the globe; from England, America, China, The Middle East, and Japan. Their motives at first glance seem different but in the end could be seen as all the same. That is what David Barker has done so well with Blue Gold. He never tells you flat out who is good and who is bad; who is right and who is wrong. It’s all up to interpretation. I found my opinions flip flopping as a I read, more so when I read it the second time. (which I recommend.)
Overall Blue Gold takes the serious subject of climate change and makes the reader experience it through many perspectives from all across the globe; in a not so preachy way. Blue Gold allows you, the reader, to decide for yourself how to feel about climate change. It’s” leave you on the edge of your seat” thrilling, funny, heartfelt, and very real. The time jumping may require you to read it more than one but it’s worth the read for sure.