Highly Recommended

Sea of Tranquility




Edwin St. Andrew is exiled from society after a disastrous dinner party speech. In the Canadian wilderness, he hears the haunting notes of a violin in an airship terminal that shakes him to his core.

Centuries later, a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn includes a similar passage in her novel.

Meanwhile, Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in Night City, investigates an anomaly in the North American wilderness, uncovering the interconnected lives of St. Andrew, Llewellyn, and a childhood friend. With this knowledge, they think this is their chance to do something extraordinary, with the high cost of disrupting the timeline of the universe.



I went into this book blind, only reading the first chapter of the book before I bought it. What I thought to be historical fiction, was actually a breathtaking story of a time traveller who goes through several different time periods and meets different people to solve an anomaly.

I’m usually quite slow when it comes to science fiction, but Sea of Tranquility explains events and theories so clearly and easily, I understood the rules of the world quickly.

The atmosphere in this book feels eerie and quiet- it has the feeling of trying to reach out to a thought but it's constantly slipping your fingers. Emily St John Mandel creates this feeling where something is just slightly off but you can't pinpoint what it is.

Sea of Tranquility explores topics such as the pandemic, human survival and human existence. It speaks of what it means to be human and tackles very human fears, like the fear of the future. It's meta with discussions like loneliness in the pandemic and if we are all ‘living in a simulation’, but Emily St John Mandel writes such beautiful prose- it's hard to feel depressed by it.

I loved each and every narrator in the story. Each character had such unique voices and thoughts, it was so easy to differentiate between them.

My favourite character would have to be Edwin, though he does not appear much in the book, I still feel almost connected to him. When he shows up in the first chapter, I enjoyed his serene and tranquil life as he is exiled from home for having ‘controversial’ thoughts. But I think the reason why he stuck with me was because the first time we read about a catastrophic event, we experienced it together with him.

The ending almost felt like a requiem playing at double speed. My heart was pounding so fast. Each character and story seems unrelated to each other until the final twist, which linked everything together in a way that blew my mind. It was unexpectedly satisfying.

I also appreciate the short chapters, making it easy to digest and read quickly. Before we are really introduced to the main character, the first few stories with Edwin, Olive etc feel like a part of a short story collection.

This story is incredibly unique with a different take on time travel. I didn’t expect myself to enjoy it as much as I did, but Sea of Tranquility has now opened my mind to reading more Emily St John Mandel’s work. Sea of Tranquility feels like an ambience piece, filled with serenity and intensity at all the right moments.

Also apparently, it has a connected universe with ESJM’s previous works! After this, i’ll probably get to reading The Glass Hotel and Station 11!

Would highly recommend it to people who like Interstellar.

Book Details

Highly Recommended
Published: 05 April 2022
Page Count: 255 pages

Highly Recommended

Content Warning Summary

  • Death
  • Gun Violence (minor)