Post-apocalyptic fiction for young adults has now been with us in sufficient quantity for it to have acquired its own stock of recurring themes and stereotypes: the challenge for a new entrant to the genre is to avoid the formulaic and, in the process, to express a futuristic vision which, to some credible extent, bears some relevance to the world which its readers actually inhabit. Judged by these criteria, Philip Webb’s debut novel deserves high praise. The setting is an often scarifying London of the future, at a period when ‘The Empire of New Russia’ has become ‘the conquerors of the world’, the ‘Empire’ having its public face in the form of ‘the Vlads’, the ‘lords and masters’ of what remains of ordinary humanity. The latter is largely represented in the novel by a group of young people, principally sister and brother Cass and Wilbur, subsequently joined by two others, Peyto and Erin, who have arrived from a far distant world: it has taken them a billion years to reach London. The enterprise in which all of these become engaged revolves around their urgent necessity to discover a long buried ‘artefact’ which, when found, may stave off a final catastrophe. The characterisation of the four young people is strong and attractive, the opposing forces supplying quite a gallery of the sinister and sadistic. Once battle is joined, Webb exploits every opportunity of twist and turn to create a narrative which will keep a young audience involved. His insights into parental-child relationships, explored at several levels in various contexts, results in an additional, rich dimension.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2011-09-01 00:00:162022-01-29 18:36:59Six Days