The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Claire North
The Sudden Appearance of Hope Cover

The Sudden Appearance of Hope


A Fantasy with a Science-Fictional Twist

I've decided to consider this the third in what I would call North's "Ouroboros Trilogy" (preceded by The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Touch). As with the other two novels, the protagonist of this one is the unwitting possessor of a bizarre special ability/curse, causing their life to be one which is out of phase with most other human beings.

What made this one especially interesting to me was its secondary storyline of a sinister mobile application called "Perfection", which accumulates millions of minute behavioral, financial, and relationship data points about its users and trains them to modify their behavior -- to the extent of becoming a completely different person -- in the pursuit of personal perfection (in addition to making referrals to other businesses for a kickback, and selling all of that information to other companies for a profit).

Having just read James Gunn's two "Joy" novels (The Joy Makers and The Joy Machine), the similarity of theme was striking: how much of their humanity will people be willing to give up in the pursuit of perfect happiness? The different answers provided in each of these books make an interesting contrast.

If you enjoyed August or Touch, you will likely enjoy this one. If you really disliked either one of those, this one's probably not for you, either.