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Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling

Camp Zero


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Michelle Min Sterling, on your first book!

by Michelle Min Sterling

Quick take

Don’t be fooled by the floating cities and brain implants, this mysterious polar camp riven by inequality is no utopia.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SlowRead

    Slow build

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Tech

    Tech world

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Immigration



In the far north of Canada sits Camp Zero, an American building project hiding many secrets.

Desperate to help her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother, Rose agrees to travel to Camp Zero and spy on its architect in exchange for housing. She arrives at the same time as another newcomer, a college professor named Grant who is determined to flee his wealthy family’s dark legacy. Gradually, they realize that there is more to the architect than previously thought, and a disturbing mystery lurks beneath the surface of the camp. At the same time, rumors abound of an elite group of women soldiers living and working at a nearby Cold War-era climate research station. What are they doing there? And who is leading them?

An electrifying page-turner where nothing is as it seems, Camp Zero cleverly explores how the intersection of gender, class, and migration will impact who and what will survive in a warming world.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Camp Zero.

Why I love it

Picture this: a near-future Earth ravaged by the climate crisis. Technological marvels abound, with “floating cities” that are protected from the worst of the environment and the “Flick”: a new technology that is implanted at birth, providing the population with virtual reality and internet access at every waking moment. It’s a setting that feels both revolutionary and disturbing, but eerily possible.

Removed from all this chaos is Camp Zero, a building project led by a peculiar architect in Canada’s far north. We experience life at Camp Zero through three expertly-crafted points of view. First is Rose, an escort who flees the safety of her city for the Canadian settlement after striking a deal to spy on the architect. Soon after arrives Grant, a college professor desperately trying to escape his past and the grip of his wealthy father. Our final perspective is that of White Alice, a mysterious group of female soldiers training nearby. As life in Camp Zero unfolds, we learn that the secrets and entanglements of the camp run deeper than could ever be imagined.

At its core, Camp Zero is about the importance of both solidarity and communal support in times of societal collapse. With flowing prose and a chillingly evocative atmosphere, Michelle Min Sterling creates the perfect blend of dystopia and mystery that will keep you reading late into the night.

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Member ratings (7,801)

  • sean d.

    shenandoah, PA

    this was a page turner for me, and i found myself rushing to get back to White Alice. definitely strongest pov imo. could’ve done without grant’s pov tbh. but loved the twists and turns and reality

  • Samantha B.

    Jamaica Plain, MA

    I loved the consistent burn of this novel. I found the cast of characters compelling and the writing style unique and approachable. The prose is simple yet haunting as it tolls the bell of extinction

  • Eleni S.


    Very interesting and thought provoking book about what may happen in the future, and the lengths people will go to to survive. It was interesting following the different perspectives through the book.

  • Devon T.

    Layton, UT

    I went into this mostly blind, but had heard a lot of buzz about it. It was unlike anything I’ve read before. Feminist, dystopian, and a beautiful exploration of identity. Truly an incredible book!

  • Victoria A.

    Salt Lake City, UT

    A thoughtful examination of the human-relational implications of our deteriorating natural world. Sterling’s dystopian landscape was vivid and surreal. Not a page turner, but certainly captivating!