I really don't know how to write this review. To be truthful I wasn't excited to read this book, mostly because of the cover. Imagine my surprise when this became one of my favorite reads of the year. Elysium is complex, nuanced, and really needs to be read rather than explained. This is one of those rare reads wherein as soon as I finished it I immediately wanted to press it into the hands of everyone around me. To say this book is science fiction, or a post-apocalyptic tale, is to drastically reduce the essence of this story. This is one of those gems with a strong enough emotional center that most readers, genre lovers or not, could find something of value within its pages.
At its heart this is a story about two people who love each other. The relationship and circumstances might change from chapter to chapter, but this basic truth carries through. They might be a husband and wife, a gay couple, siblings, a parent and child, it doesn't matter. The bond is what is important, even as the story skips through time and setting. It's the sort of book that by all rights should be confusing as hell, yet I never had trouble following along (which speaks to Brissett's craft). The prose is lyrical, even poetic, and the repeating motifs and linguistic tricks are evocative rather than repetitive or tiring. The beauty of this story, and the way it is told, cannot be undersold. This is a book about love, loss, and the end of the world. And I really hope you take a chance and pick this one up - I'm so glad I did.