Book Review: “By the Grace of Extinction: She Chooses Death” by Verene Sarter

The post-human world often finds its muse in literature. Yet, very few manage to portray it with such grace and depth as Verene Sarter has in “By the Grace of Extinction: She Chooses Death.” A tale spun with intricate threads of survival, morality, and the cyclical nature of history, this novella is a magnificent reminder of the sheer force of nature and the delicate balance of life on Earth.

Set in a future where humans are but a memory, and our planet has been thrust into a different orbit to sustain life, Sarter paints an enchanting portrait of humanoid salamanders. These new rulers of the Earth are in many ways eerily similar to us. They cherish, they love, they create, but they also fear, fight, and forget.

Our protagonist, Iaina, is the beacon of hope in this dwindling civilization. As an outcast shaman with a sense of responsibility, her character arc is profound and relatable. Readers will find themselves gripped by her quest to address the infertility crisis and her discoveries that hint at the repetitiveness of history. The underlying message? How easily civilizations can fall into the same traps, despite knowing the outcome.

What truly stands out in this novella is Sarter’s world-building. The narrative effortlessly weaves the science fiction elements with environmental and societal concerns. The result is a story that is both imaginative and rooted in pressing contemporary issues.

Moreover, the length of this work plays in its favor. “By the Grace of Extinction” is a brief novella that delivers a focused blast of passion, drama, and insight without wearing out its welcome. This succinctness makes sure that each and every phrase, feeling, and turn is significant.

By the Grace of Extinction: She Chooses Death” is more than just a tale of survival or the results of disobeying past lessons. It’s a fine line between optimism and pessimism, progress and stasis, and, well, life and extinction. Sarter’s genius rests in her capacity to write a story that serves as both a warning and a celebration of resiliency. Although it’s a quick read, it makes an impact by inspiring readers to consider their place in the world and the legacies they hope to leave behind.

A great read! Highly recommend.

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