Dr. Daniel Danten is an entomologist in Mountain America. In the future, climate change has hit hard and most of what was once the United States is now far too warm for humans to live and thrive in; they are below the heatstroke line. Countries in the northern latitudes, such as Canada, are now in power are. Dan studies one of the bugs that has become a major problem below the heatstroke line, biter bugs- giant insects that have evolved a taste for animal flesh, including humans. Until recently, Dan has been happy at his job that supports his wife, a food inspector, and three children. Now, Dan feels the need to do some serious research into controlling the biter bugs instead of simply studying their evolution. When he asks the government about this line of research, Dan is surprised at how quickly they agree. However, when Dan is scheduled to travel to the Confederacies for his research, tragedy strikes. Dan and his colleagues are kidnapped for his knowledge of the biter bugs and Dan is forced to work on an alternate plan for the biter bugs in order to help the Confederacies.
I have always been interested in books that deal with the very real and present issue of climate change. The Heatstroke Line takes on this issue headfirst. The world that Rubin has built after the climate has changed is realistic and interesting. I was intrigued to explore the new world where the USA was no longer a world power due to wars over temperate and arable land; however humans persisted, maybe not in as high numbers, but persisted. Among other important changes in the way people live, food production, cooling, and the change in landscape after the climate warmed, the evolution of insects was one of the main issues, and a dangerous one. As an environmental scientist, this peaked my interest since human interaction with insects will definitely be an issue with climate change. I enjoyed reading about Dr. Danten's studies and plans for the biter bugs; however, there was a lot of science, research and entomology included, which might be heavy for some readers. The excitement did ramp up when Dan was kidnapped, conspiracy, political intrigue and survival were paired with the contrast of Dan's residence with a family in the Confederacies where he begins to care for their daughters. Overall, a very interesting and science driven look at a possible future if our habits do not change.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.