Reviews posted on Amazon, Goodreads and Indigo:
From Bruce Hyer, former Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay, Canada
Burning Souls is far more than an eco-novel. It is truly great literature. David Chernushenko is a great writer. Read it. Soon.
From Marisa Slaven in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Eco-fiction that reflects our reality and a very possible future for our planet. Thoroughly enjoyed this book – character driven action keeps the plot fast paced and suspenseful. Highly recommend!
From T. Hewson, Ottawa, Canada
I don’t regard myself as particularly eco-aware. Of course, I know about climate change, and have my opinions about it, but I wouldn’t have picked up a 600 page book about it. But weaving these messages into a gripping fictional story is a brilliant way to raise awareness. I finished the book last night, and literally this morning, the Guardian reported that one million tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Having read this book, with Fukushima playing such a pivotal role in the story, I no longer simply gloss over the headlines. This is a powerful, meticulously researched book. All of the characters are believable (including the supporting cast), and the interweaving of fact and fiction is extremely clever. I finished it late last night, I couldn’t put it down.
From Sue Lawton in Sydney, Australia
It is a very good read although a sobering subject. I congratulate you on an amazing effort. I think you have been very clever to interweave so many of our big issues into your story. Australia as you know is behind in accepting the reality of so much scientific evidence.
From Frank Johnson in Ottawa, Canada
In this page-turner novel Chernushenko has joined the dots between the many calamities of modern life: pollution; famine; drought; extreme weather; melting permafrost; the hubris of capitalism; the lack of political vision and foresight, to extrapolate to a devastating conclusion within a few short years. This book issues a challenge to every reader: will you have the courage of Simone to take the fight against insidious evil to its logical conclusion? Burning Souls is a great book.
From Nancy in Ottawa, Canada
So close to the truth it can can be sad in some ways. However, I couldn’t put it down! …Really enjoyed the book launch and his motivation in writing this book. Loved hearing how he stays positive through everything. “Enjoy what you savour that exists now” Looking forward to the sequel!
From Larry Dobson in Ottawa, Canada
This book’s gripping story follows four friends from where they first meet in Cambridge, England to their life experiences later in their respective homelands. Fast-paced, it offers keen insights into human behaviour in the face of rapidly advancing climate breakdown, increasing societal surveillance, and political indecision and discord. The story presents a view of what it means to be facing these changes as individuals in contrast to a narrative usually presented from a scientific and descriptive perspective. I highly recommend the book.
From Anne Mowat in Nelson BC, Canada
About a third of the way through this novel, I realized that I was always thinking about it… the characters are passionate, inventive seekers trying to navigate a world that’s falling apart around them. They are fundamentally good, at times heroic. This compelling narrative weaves together many strands of thought about our global climate crisis, and paints a believable (and grim) picture of the near future. Yet there is hope, as embodied in the main characters, who represent a kind of idealized global community of shared values. We hope because of their choices, as individuals, and collectively. It is rare to find a book that offers depth, insight, believable characters, and still gives you a good page-turner of a story. Highly recommend.
From Brian Toller in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
This book was a great surprise. What I feared was going to be just a polemic on climate change is in fact a real page turner! I like how character-driven it all is, yet through one character’s editorials as a journalist many of the facts and concerns of climate change are well spelled out. Kind of alarming though too, when the full extent of climate change is brought forward to a couple of years from now, and one sees all the ramifications happening simultaneously – loss of bees, no fruit, human migration, collapsing infrastructure, civil society disintegration, countries dividing. Yikes! While I have heard all these possibilities before, I had never quite grasped how it would look if they happen all at once. Overall a terrific summer read, well researched, compelling and entertaining, as well as a bit of clarion call to the world to do better.
From Kelly Thompson in Nairobi, Kenya
Burning Souls by David Chernushenko is a well crafted and exhaustively researched novel that is an intimidating reality check for all of us. There is no room here for climate deniers or people who dismiss populism or xenophobia as passing trends. Our world is about to change forever and it is a question of how prepared we are and to what extent we are able to contain the damage to our planet and the increasing violence that accompanies scarcity. The novel echos the infrastructure decay described in Weisman’s The World Without Us and the need for survival skills in the brutal world of Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. But this novel is not about some dystopian future – the action is unrolling in real time in our current political context as four “burning souls” travel the globe from North America to Europe to Asia over the next 5 years. If it seems impossible for the world as we know it to collapse in so little time, think of what has happened to US politics in the past two. Regrettably, the demise of ethical journalism is happening now, epic floods and drought are announced weekly, and those decaying nuclear plants are just next door. This novel has forever changed how I view the future. It is essential reading for all who want to be prepared for the brave new world that awaits us in the all-to-imminent future. Will we burn with the same passion for justice, compassion and hope?
From David Rhynas in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! Compelling characters and their stories against the backdrop of environmental and social justice themes that are so relevant and important. Couldn’t put the book down for the last half.
It is well paced and compelling… Novels in this genre are necessarily didactic and portentous. Chernushenko, however, navigates this with panache, speaking through his characters with precision and depth… His insight into the Machiavellian intrigues within politics and commerce are frightening enough, but his predictions of the course of events in the world at large will take away what little sleep you might have hoped for… Chernushenko explores the redemptive power of acting with courage and integrity and the value of close friends in the face of critics and opponents.
The Glebe Report, Ottawa, Canada
David Chernushenko’s new thriller… is eye-opening, so impactful its message will be seared into the soul of the reader… If you go along for the ride, I guarantee you will be changed forever…I felt anxious about the future of the planet while reading the book. But that is exactly the point. I also felt inspired to take action; apathy is impossible after reading Burning Souls.
The Mainstreeter, Ottawa, Canada
Ottawa Public Library site
A riveting book. So much about the state the world is in it; the factors behind the environmental devastation we are experiencing right now, the motivations behind hiding the facts about the causes and the extent of the damage, the ways that further damage could be mitigated, in addition to a wonderful account of friendships and bravery by people dedicated to making a positive difference. This was a difficult one to set down!