It will take a certain type of reader to enjoy LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING. At times, this book is extremely confusing or unbelievable, and at times flowery in prose. While it's definitely an original book and one with a potential deeper meaning, LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING was ultimately a book I didn't enjoy.
My main problem with the novel was that I couldn't believe its premise. While I loved that the book was a mash-up of dystopia, sci-fi and Greek mythology, the mix also made the world unbelievable. A dystopia, specifically, is supposed to creep you out in some way because it's a plausible version of the future. But when you add mythical Greek creatures into the mix, it doesn't quite work out. There's Giants, for example, that are roam around the land and attack humans. Apparently, they're extremely mutated and genetically modified forms of humans. While it's possible that this could happen in the far future, the explanation was too short for me to really believe it.
Some of the characters' decisions were also hard to believe or sympathize with. There's a point, for example, that Pen decides she wants to visit an art museum before leaving to find her family. Well, considering that Pen claimed finding her family was so important to her, and, well, she was in the midst of an apocalypse, it was hard to believe that she'd want to go look at some art.
On that note, it was also hard for me to connect with the characters. While Block's prose is lyrical and conveys a mystical and dark feeling, it prevented me from really caring about the characters. For the entirety of the book, I felt that Pen was somewhat detached or distant. Added with the fact that some of her decisions didn't make sense to me, it was hard for me to care about her. The same was true for most of the side characters - I felt like I only got to know their general personalities, rather than their flaws or emotions.
If there's one thing that Block excels at, however, is creativity. Even though I thought the world was unbelievable, it's one that's richly imagined and interesting to explore. The different creatures and places from The Odyssey were recreated in a darker and more contemporary way. While it did at times make the plot predictable, I enjoyed seeing how Block re-imagined different aspects of the original story.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING was overall a disappointing read. Although the world and concept were rich in creativity, ultimately the characters and unbelievability detracted from my experience. If you're thinking about trying this book, I'd suggest reading a few pages or a sample before purchasing the book, since your enjoyment of the novel is dependent on how you respond to Block's prose.
* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. This did not affect my opinion of the book.