Chana Porter’s The Seep takes place after an alien invasion that, instead of bringing war and destruction, makes people kinder, more caring and thoughtful. Earth has become a utopia, free of capitalism. Everyone has the ability to be whoever or whatever they feel they need to be, and they are kept happy and soothed. But there’s an air of toxic positivity and superficial spirituality, too. The protagonist, Trina, sees through it and struggles with her conflicting, unsatisfied feelings. When her wife Deeba decides to make the ultimate Seep modification, Trina is left to deal with her grief.
The world-building and the storytelling is superb. I don’t always do well with fiction on audiobook, which is how I took in this story, but I was hanging on every word. The premise was so cool, executed wonderfully, and brought up a lot of things to think about. I was reminded of the final season of The Good Place, but with a darker tone. What makes humans unique? What makes us human? Where do we find contentment, curiosity, or the will to live? How would we feel if we had access to everything we could ever want or hope for?