I read a ton of books in 2020. Well, 68, to be exact. A.W. Davidson’s Relics of Dawn was the best book I read all year. Mind-blowing is an understatement.
Author A.W. Davidson’s first novel, Relics of Dawn: A Story Carved in Time is a rare gem among a sea of mediocrity in climate fiction or cli-fi. With a perfect blend of science fiction, ancient history, and climate change, Davidson’s novel captivates and educates readers in a book that’s “un-put-downable.”
A dark city skyline filled the display. The camera panned across the towering buildings of downtown Tremva to the trash-laden harbor, where crowded refugee ships sat low in the water, streaming toward the open ocean. The broadcast zoomed in on a long pier, where Kaia knew the deconstruction was about to begin.
Relics begins with death and destruction caused by climate change. Kaia, the protagonist of the story, witnesses the death of her parents at a young age. She lives on a planet called Nu, which is quickly becoming inhospitable to all life. The Jacana – the people of Nu – must wear ‘habsew’ suits to survive the outside environment.
The Council takes drastic action, destroying all cities throughout the world, and moves all of humanity into one place: Puna. Eventually, even Puna will become inhospitable. Puna’s Council has a plan: leave Nu on generation ships then initiate a planet-wide natural disaster to ‘reset’ Nu’s environment, eventually leaving it hospitable. Only then will humanity return home to Nu.
The Dawn Project, her life’s work – and the work of countless scientists before her – culminated in this purposeful act of erasure to destroy the last epicenter of Jacana civilization.
The time was upon them.
Drastic action often leads to disastrous, unintended results. Relics of Dawn makes no exception to this fact.
The novel shifts between the previously mentioned events and the events on Earth around the year 2034 CE. On Earth, geologist Dr. Alan Pearce and his assistant Daxia make a few surprising discoveries in Mexico. Simultaneously, Dr. Louise Pearce, Alan’s wife, chairs the Relocation Committee Conference established by the United Nations Climate Council. Each plays a vital role in preventing the devastation climate change will lead to on Earth.
Both storylines share similarities, and they progress towards a possible intersection.
For Fans of Hard Science Fiction
Relics is no doubt Davidson’s labor of love. One can only imagine the hours the author poured into researching the science behind climate change plus ancient civilization, geology, and space travel theories. Davidson combines his research into one of, if not the best, sci-fi books of 2020.
The book is full of exciting “aha!” moments for those readers that pick up on clues throughout the story. Each time the plot confirmed my suspicions, I couldn’t help but smile and get excited. I don’t mean to imply the plot is evident, either. For each “aha” moment I experienced, I had a similar “oh shit!” moment from something I didn’t expect to happen.
Relics of Dawn by A.W. Davidson is hands-down the best book recommendation I can make for all fans of sci-fi. Buy a copy, and don’t forget to leave a review of the book on Amazon and Goodreads. The book deserves more visibility than the garbage major publishing companies shove down our throat (ahem, Ready Player Two).