#BookReview: The Visionary by J C Gemmell @JcGemmell @bookroar_tweets

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a read I picked up via a review site. I haven’t come across this writer before, but I’ll be checking out more of J C Gemmell’s books >>>

57372531. sy475 About the Book:

At the beginning of February 2060, Mount Erebus erupted, the first of a chain of Antarctic volcanoes that forever changed Earth’s future. Within days, sea levels began to rise, until sixty metres of water claimed coastlines worldwide.

Twelve-year-old Xin-yi and her mother fled their home, surviving amongst a community of rice farmers. A year later, a chance conversation with international census officials prepared her for a new life.

Now fourteen, Xin-yi commences her training as a visionary. It is her task to imagine a new Earth, rising above the drowning waters. Thousands of young people strive to design a world in which the displaced millions can live, and engineer a solution that will take a millennium to populate.

But Xin-yi’s challenges are more personal: coming to terms with the loss of her brother and unexpected feelings toward a friend. She has to choose between working to benefit humanity and her internal conflict with love.

Set over three decades after the 2060 flood, The Visionary combines dystopian, future and science fiction, and introduces J.C. Gemmell’s Tion series. 


My Review:


A quick and easy dystopian read on the possible effects of global warming.

I haven’t read this author before, but I shall be sure to check out more of J C Gemmell’s books.

“A dragon is coming for us.” From this compelling opening line, we meet the main character, Xin Yi, who we follow over a period of decades. Each chapter covers a particular Chinese year, and there can be a leap of quite a few years from one to the next.

I found the characters a little wooden in places but on the whole real enough. The word building and scenarios were entirely believable, and I loved the idea of the visionaries and their inner selves made real. I would love to see this story written as a full novel rather than a novella, which would allow the characters to come more fully alive without the gaps of time the reader is presented with here.

The writing is compelling and creative, and here are some lines I loved …

“The water seemed slow enough to outrun, but it was as terrifying as the Antarctic dragon.”

And …

“Tej was his own person whilst being part of me at the same time. I had to listen to him because I was him.”

Sometimes I found it difficult to identify who was speaking due to a lack of dialogue tags and/or beats. At times, the tense kept switching between past and present. Apart from these glitches, the writing was done well, and the story is engrossing and all too realistic. The Visionary gets a solid four stars from me. Go read this book!


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/


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Jacquie Biggar

Dystopian or a prediction? Wonderful review, Harmony.

D.L. Finn, Author

Intriguing review, Harmony. I picked up my free copy 🙂

Jan Sikes

An interesting review, Harmony. I loved that the book kept your interest enough to want to check out more by the author because you listed some pretty major glitches in the story. Thank you for sharing!

Mae Clair

An insightful review,, Harmony. Despite some quibbles with tense and dialogue, it sounds like a good read.

Joan Hall

Sounds like an interesting book, Harmony. Thanks for sharing your review.

CS Boyack

Sounds like Antarctica is on the verge of causing real problems. Timely story.

Staci Troilo

Sounds like a solid story. The fact that it takes place over decades is interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Beem Weeks

Nice review, Harmony. Thanks for sharing.

Priscilla Bettis

Mt Erebus as a dragon? I like it. Good review, Harmony!

john howell

I enjoyed reading this review, Harmony. Thanks for sharing it.