The Earth is just a tiny bit farther away from the sun in Early Riser, but that’s enough to make the winters harsh enough that humans have evolved to hibernate. The exception are the Winter Consuls, a group of misfits tasked with keeping the sleeping population safe.
Charlie Worthing has just joined the Winter Consuls and is experiencing her first winter awake. Unfortunately, a viral dream appears to be killing people, and Charlie must survive the dream, the Villains (murderous non-hibernators), and Nightwalkers (essentially zombies who are placated by comfort food and candy bars).
I’m a big fan of Jasper Fforde’s well-written and mildly insane other books, including the Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes series, and Early Riser does not disappoint. It’s a funny, absurd, dystopian murder mystery with great characters in an alien yet cozy British setting.
Recommendation: Read it. It’s especially fun to read right now, as we lean into winter.