One of Entertainment Weekly’s “10 prescient new feminist dystopias to read after The Handmaid’s Tale”; one of the “11 Best Summer Books Of 2018” by Women's Health; this “perfect beach book” (Entertainment Report) follows the search for a missing sister in a near-future world where infertility has produced a dangerous underground.
“Find her. You need to keep looking, no matter what. I’m afraid of what might’ve happened to her. You be afraid too.” After months of disturbing behavior, Gardner Quinn has vanished. Her older sister Fredericka is desperate to find her, but Fred is also pregnant—miraculously so, in a near-future America struggling with infertility. So she entrusts the job to their brother, Carter.
Carter, young but jaded, is in need of an assignment. Just home from war, his search for his sister is a welcome distraction from mysterious physical symptoms he can’t ignore, not to mention his increasing escape into the bottom of a glass.
Carter’s efforts to find Gardner lead him into a desperate underworld, where he begins to grasp the risks she took on as a Nurse Completionist. But his investigation also leads back to their father, a veteran of a decades-long war just like Carter himself, who may be concealing a painful truth, one that neither Carter nor Fredericka is ready to face.
“Fans of dystopian novels will love Siobhan Adcock’s disturbing speculation on just how bad things can get when resources are rare and personal lives are heavily policed” (Booklist). In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Completionist is speculative fiction at its very best: it will “transport you to an entirely new world” (PopSugar) while revealing our own world in bold and unexpected ways.
The societal expectations of motherhood are the focus of Adcock's vivid near-future dystopian, set in a world where water is engineered, drones and tracking implants are ubiquitous, and unassisted pregnancy is rare. Mothers must give up their jobs to raise children and are held to draconian "care standards" that seem designed to punish the poor. The narrator, 24-year-old Carter Quinn, a Marine who is suffering the lingering effects of his exposure to neurochemical agents, is back in New Chicago after serving in the Second Wars. His sister Gard, who is missing, was a Nurse Completionist, someone who helps women throughout child-rearing. Their naturally pregnant sister, Fredericka, is desperate to find her, and her motives go beyond sisterly love: she and Gard may have a risky way to get around some of those rigid government requirements. At the clinic where Gard worked, Carter finds more questions than answers. Adcock, a natural storyteller, writes flawed and believable characters and intersperses Carter's narrative with details of his time in the Wars and missives from Gard and Fred. His quest for answers about Gard's disappearance, however, moves at a frustratingly slow pace. Still, Adcock has created a captivating, if grim, future. Readers will want to get to the truth behind Gard's disappearance, even if it takes a while.