The Crossing is an apocalyptic novel which has humanity in a slow decline precipitated by a disease spreading among the population that starts killing off the elderly but is slowly progressing through the younger population, and a world war that is killing off the younger people. Dodging the draft, twins Tommy and Virginia Matthews, after having gone through foster home to foster home throughout their young lives, go on a trip to Cape Canaveral to witness a rocket launch to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter.
This novel had some good and some not so good in it. What I especially liked was the writing style. Jason Mott is a talented author who has a way with words. I also thought the characterization was particularly strong not just for the two main characters, but also their foster father, who is ostensibly the antagonist in this story, but really isn’t a villain. He is presented as someone who is, although not perfect, guided by conviction of right and wrong and is doing what he sees as his duty.
What I didn’t like about the novel were many of the side stories with nameless, faceless characters that didn’t add anything to the story except to the word count. Really, this is a novella, not a novel, which had a lot of fluff added to it to fill pages. The other thing that bothered me was that this is a first person novel told by Virginia, who has a didactic memory. The author violated the logic of this storytelling method by having her narrate parts of the story that she isn’t in, providing what everybody said and thought in those scenes. It’s an illogical way of telling a story. There is a throw away line at the end to explain it all, but that rang hollow to me and didn’t come off as credible. The ending was also more of a whimper than a climax. Overall, I did enjoy this story but it could have been better.