Book Review: Camp Zero

CAMP ZERO | Michelle Min Sterling
04.04.2023 | Atria Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


In the far north of Canada sits Camp Zero, an American building project hiding many secrets.

Desperate to help her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother, Rose agrees to travel to Camp Zero and spy on its architect in exchange for housing. She arrives at the same time as another newcomer, a college professor named Grant who is determined to flee his wealthy family’s dark legacy. Gradually, they realize that there is more to the architect than previously thought, and a disturbing mystery lurks beneath the surface of the camp. At the same time, rumors abound of an elite group of women soldiers living and working at a nearby Cold War-era climate research station. What are they doing there? And who is leading them?

An electrifying page-turner where nothing is as it seems, Camp Zero cleverly explores how the intersection of gender, class, and migration will impact who and what will survive in a warming world.

Camp Zero focuses on a world that has been hit by very real climate activity, leaving survivors displaced with limited resources. Our main characters, Rose and Grant, come from very different backgrounds and have experienced very different results from climate change. I loved that Sterling chose to deliver the story through both of their eyes. The reader is able to get to know both of their backgrounds and witness their reactions to life at Camp Zero. Rose’s sections were stronger in my opinion, as I found her story to be very compelling and I wanted to root for her throughout.

In addition to these narrators, the reader is given passages from White Alice, a group of female soldiers living and working at a research station. I had no idea at first what these sections had to do with the story, but I loved how Sterling brought everything together at the end. 

The pacing to Camp Zero falls in the mid-range for me with certain scenes adding more tension than others. There is a lot of great backstory provided by Sterling that brings Earth’s current living situation to life brilliantly. The ending definitely picks up quite a lot and I was very worried about what would happen to all of the characters I had grown attached to. 

If you’re looking for a climate fiction read for your TBR, Camp Zero is a great option!

A huge thank you to Atria Books for my gifted copy!

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