The Captain’s Log – summerland (Hannu Rajaniemi)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the third book in me Ports for Plunder – 19 Books in 2019 list.  I knew I wanted to read this alternative history sci-fi novel after reading about it in matey Lashaan @ bookidote’s awesome review.  As he nicely puts it, “It might not be the most accessible story that you could pick up, but it is without a doubt enthralling and authentic.”

And aye, that be exactly what this was.  The story takes place in an alternate 1938 where the dead are still very much a part of the affairs of the living.  Summerland is a metropolis for the deceased.  Be a good citizen and earn a Ticket to become a member of this city when ye die.  Yer prior interests can still remain.  Continue to run yer company.  Talk to yer living loved ones.  There are endless choices.

This book focuses on two characters.  The first is a living agent named Rachel who works for the SIS.  The second is Peter who is a resident of Summerland and has secret agendas.  Rachel is wrapped up in conspiracy when she discovers there is a mole in the agency feeding secrets to the Russians.  But instead of being rewarded for this intelligence, she is rebuffed for her womanly emotional delusions.  But Rachel can’t let this information go and decides to find out the truth even if it ruins her career.

It is true that this book is hard to get into.  Ye get tossed into the deep end with very little exposition.  The concepts of Summerland and how they work did take a while to make any sense.  I will admit that at least twice I contemplating giving up but I wasn’t sure if it was me mood or the writing that was the problem.  Turns out that I needed to just let the thoughts and ideas percolate while reading.  Because suddenly the story clicked and I was engrossed and had to know what happened next.

The spy story aspect of this novel was fun but the highlight really did become Summerland and the world-building that stems from it.  From mundane tasks like document retrieval to more complex tasks like allowing ghosts the use of a medium’s body, the consequences were just so fascinating.  And of course there is the threat of war looming and how Summerland affected politics were weird and cool.  Plus I actually loved the ending!

This story won’t be for everyone because of the writing style.  Some of the concepts like four dimensions and mathematical theorems might be hard to grasp as well but I am so glad that I read and finished it.  Arrr!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s twitter go to:

Hannu Rajaniemi – Author

To buy the book go to:

summerland- Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Reviews for Me 19 in 2019 Books

the lie tree – Frances Hardinge (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

children of blood and bone – Tomi Adeyemi (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

25 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – summerland (Hannu Rajaniemi)

    1. I haven’t read anything else by this author but I am certainly going to based on this book. Glad to hear ye enjoyed the others. Any recommendations for what I should read next? Also if ye like him then ye should look into Daryl Gregory. Thanks for the comment!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah he pretty good, don’t remember the name of his other trilogy but it’s like a space adventure… Then I adore Finnish author named Mika Waltari 😊 Hmm Daryl Gregory… I’ll check it out!


  1. I’m honored to get a shout-out from you Captain! Super glad that you felt the same as me though. It was definitely not an easy read, but wow. The ideas were so original and it was so different from what you’d usually get from other authors that it was just too hard to not appreciate the originality! Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I be so very glad that ye reviewed this one and made it sound so awesome. It is such an odd book but I really did enjoy it. It was so original and I loved thinking about living in a world like that. I don’t think I would want a ticket though. Ye planning on reading any other works by the author?
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This has been on my TBR and after reading your review I want to read it! I’ve read other books that were tough to get into but later I was so glad I finished, so I know what you mean😁

    Liked by 1 person

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