Cyan can’t remember a time when he did not live at the Elsewhere Sanctuary. He knows he was sent there as a small child in order to be treated for a traumatic experience, the idea being that the Sanctuary provides treatment that helps you forget and then lead a happy and carefree life. However Cyan begins to wonder about his past when he discovers some mysterious quotes on some whale bones; then there is a new resident at the facility, called Jonquil, who still has memories and questions whether she want to forget everything that has happened. When Jonquil disappears and Cyan starts to have strange memories, after he stops taking his medication, things begin to take a very sinister turn. The young people are left wondering what is really going on and whether they are getting the treatment that they really need.
The plot of this story leads us to ask so many questions about how children are treated, what support and treatment do people need after traumatic experiences and most importantly does anyone have the right to virtually imprison young people and wipe out their memories? We live in a world where mental health is very important and questions about how patients are treated is of vital importance. The world that has been created here, uses the children as guinea pigs (or lab rats, as Cyan calls them) which is horrendous in the lack of real concern that the director of the facility shows for the patients. He sees them as a step towards producing a treatment for adults that will bring in a lot of money. This is a story that will hopefully lead to open and wide-ranging discussions about the plot and how it relates to the real world. This is something that we all need to think about and the books needs a wide audience, to bring the issues into the open. It is a great read for KS3 pupils.