Review: Forgive Us by E. T. Gunnarsson

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Action-packed

E.T. Gunnarsson uses rich descriptions and likeable characters to depict the futuristic, post-apocalyptic world.

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E.T. Gunnarsson resides in Texas and Forgive Us is his debut novel release. Detailing a dystopian, apocalyptic future, Forgive Us uses three intertwining plotlines to form the most action-packed, adventure-filled narrative.

Like any novel with more than one storyline, it is predictable that they will eventually meet. But Forgive Us leaves no clues on how this intertwining will occur. Oliver, a lone survivor living in the year 2100, opens the narrative as readers witness his feelings as he enters the new century. The time period being just under 100 years from present day is frightening, and thus it’s hard to not be instantly hooked on this storyline.

But then the second plotline enters for chapter two – this time detailing the story of London and Rose, residing in the year 2154. It was a shock to turn the page and see that the next chapter is written about stories happening 50 years after the first, as it got me questioning just how Gunnarsson was going to interlace them.

This got all the more confusing with chapter three, which finally introduces the third major character – Simon. As a space station technician, Simon’s storyline is positioned in the year 2185. These three storylines worked well together, and the significant time difference between them kept me on my toes. I couldn’t stop thinking about when and how these three characters would meet. And their eventual intertwinement was definitely worth the wait.

However, one flaw to these storylines were their slight complexities. With fairly short chapters, Forgive Us is fast-paced, but sometimes too much so. At times I’d be enjoying the caring relationship between London and Rose, to then be thrown back to the tense plotline of Simon’s work. Longer chapters, or less frequent storyline switching, would allow readers to immerse themselves further into a particular favourite storyline.

Nonetheless, the short chapters and frequent switching did admittedly make for a more exciting read. At times the action-packed fight scenes became a bit repetitive, so having different viewpoints to swap between makes Forgive Us very easy to read.

With a book detailing a post-apocalyptic future, violence is inevitable. And, though some fighting and shooting scenes could have been condensed, there were surprising elements of love, friendship, trust, and betrayal. Thinking of a world 100 years from now, it is hard to picture what humans will be like – but Forgive Us paints the perfect picture. The familial, friendly relationship between London and Rose was heartwarming, and the friendship Oliver forms in his adventures showcases the lovable aspects of human nature. And, like any good action-packed novel, there are a few unpredictable surprises, particularly involving Simon. No spoilers here, though!

The humans which inhabit Forgive Us are its best feature. Despite being a post-apocalyptic novel, it is surprisingly inspiring. The future of humanity and of the earth is not all dismal here, and Gunnarsson gives readers plenty to think about as the novel concludes.

All in all, Forgive Us is an enjoyable read. Its overly descriptive passages allow for reading to become extremely visual, and I could easily see this novel being made into a movie. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, dystopias, or any action-packed narratives, Forgive Us is one for you.

Forgive Us is published by Bragi Press and available in paperback (£8.99) and ebook (£2.99) at all good bookshops and online retailers. Purchase it from Amazon here.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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