Book Review: Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling


The name is chilling in its simplicity. White Alice. Prim and melancholic, like the name of a girl with glossy hair who rides dressage through the moors of her father’s estate”

Michelle Min Sterling, Camp Zero

Title: Camp Zero
Author: Michelle Min Sterling
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Published: April 4th, 2023

My Rating: ★★½
Read: 6/24/2023 – 6/30/2023


Dystopian plots fascinate me. Many times they’re prophetic. It’s especially interesting to read one set in the nearish future. Camp Zero has a great premise, but I wish I hadn’t spent most of the book trying to figure out what the focus of the book was. 

Set in a future suffering from the results of harsh climate change, Rose agrees to work as a spy to provide housing for her mother. Meanwhile, Grant wants to break away from his family’s past. The two meet at Camp Zero. It becomes a part that this place is harboring secrets. 

As I mentioned, I have no idea what the central focus of this plot is. Climate change is the obvious answer, but with minimal world-building and context so much was lost. From page one it felt like I was supposed to already know what was going on as I entered the story. The names (or lack of) were confusing, the POV shifts added to the trouble getting my bearings… I overall felt like I was left out of the loop. 

I enjoyed the writing itself. With more world and character building I think I would have loved it. My feelings are mixed. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Interesting setting.

What I didn’t like:

  • Not enough world-building.
  • Keeping track of the characters was difficult.


It’s been a trend with a lot of the dystopian books I’ve read that there’s minimal world-building or backstory. I go into it feeling like I’m reading a fanfic about a show I’ve never read because it’s written in a way where the author assumes I know what’s going on already.

Where to buy the book:

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