How High We Go in the Dark was a book that I and been anticipating for month before it's release and now that I've finally had a chance to read it, it's hard to describe just how much this book exceeded my expectations. This was an absolutely beautiful book. How High We Go in the Dark is centered around the fallout after the melting Arctic releases a virus that devastates the world and explores how the virus has affected a variety of people and societies from different walks of life and situations. This is very much a story about and that explores death and grief, which made it much more emotional and intense than I anticipated, but in the best way possible.
How High We Go in the Dark is a novel that reads more like a series of connected short stories following different people during different points in time after the virus is released and has spread around the globe. We start out in the first story setting at the origin of the virus and spend time with those who were there for it's discovery. We subsequently move along the timeline of the disease and watch how it has affected families, friends, people all over the world, and especially how the world reacts to death.
What I liked: The two things that made me fall in love with this book so much were Nagamatsu's creativity in imagining this future and the different ways he imagines things happening in society; and secondly, Nagamatsu' exploration of grief and loss. I really appreciated how Nagamatsu shared all the different elements of grief and ways in which it can manifest itself. I managed to really find myself connecting with each story and the characters in ways that I didn't always expect, and I think it's really due to Nagamatsu's writing style and ability to craft such compelling characters and stories that made this possible. I also listened to this book as an audiobook with a full cast (a different person narrated each chapter/story) and it was an unbelievably amazing experience–I'd highly recommend the audiobook!
What I didn't like: I honestly can't think of any negatives at the moment. I would say there were definitely stronger and weaker chapters for me, but I didn't really dislike any or think they didn't belong, so it's hard for me to think of any real criticisms. I can see where this book might not be for everyone due to its storytelling format and the different ways Nagamatsu explores the themes previously mentioned, but it's one that I would recommend to anyone.
Overall, I've given How High We Go in the Dark five stars.