Our first impressions of To Climates Unknown

Find out The Space Girls’ first impressions of SPSFC3 contestant, To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of To Climates UnknownBook blurb

On September 11, the United States were destroyed.

That is, September 11 of the Year of Our Lord 1620.

In this alternate history, the Mayflower was lost at sea, and the English Separatists were disheartened from further colonization of North America. The United States were never born. The centuries that follow will see the emergence of rival empires that will split up the world between them. One will become the terror of the seas. One will rampage with carriages of steam. One will take to the skies. And the people caught in the middle will fight against the colonial system to bring an end to all empires.

Goodreads / Amazon

Our first impressions

Nancy: Very promising story so far, with profound research into world history in the 1600s. Reading this book felt quite educational along with being entertaining. I also enjoyed the positive disability and interracial queer representation in the book. At 30% into the book, we are getting some steampunk Sci-Fi technology introduced into the story. I am expecting a world war to become the main premise of the story. I do feel the book could have benefitted from more editing because it starts mentioning interesting historical facts which are unimportant in the main book conflict. These info dumps could be skipped half of the time. Otherwise, I am totally rooting for the protagonist as he battles between stopping an impending invasion of his new home, and for his bustling romantic feelings. (Y)

Katherine: There is nothing that stands out more in To Climates Unknown than the fact that it has been meticulously historically researched. The narrative takes us from one relatively minor inflection point through multiple facets of history before reaching its conclusion. Historical figures, events, philosophies, religions… they’re scattered in bucketfuls throughout the story.

See full review at The Fussy Space Girl – To Climates Unknown, Arturo Serrano (tumblr.com) (Y)

Kerry: I have read around the 30% mark of this and whilst it is certainly an intriguing book it reads more like an alternate history rather than anything sci-fi. The early demise of a noted British sailor in the prologue and The Mayflower never reaching the Americas are just 2 of the important events that certainly affect the course of history. Beyond this, I lost interest in the story and after attempting 3 times to keep reading it’s a DNF. (N)

Status: Quarter-finalist