Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Six Days

Six Days; Philip Webb; Chicken House; 2011

Book Summary (taken from Amazon UK):
In a ruined future, an extraordinary artefact from the past lies buried. Everyone wants it. But why? What is it? And how can it save them all? For scavs Cass and Wilbur, slaving to dig it up, there are no answers. But when two strangers from another time turn up claiming to know about the lost relic, their world will change for ever. Six Days. If you thought you knew how the world began ... think again.

Literature for Lads review:
'Six Days' is set in a future London which we are to assume has been involved in a major war involving bio-chemical weapons.  Not all human life has been destroyed though and the survivors are the 'Scavs' controlled by the oppressors the Vlad's (New Russians?).  Scavs must spend each day searching for an artefact, yet no one has ever seen it or even knows what it looks like.

This young adult book crosses both the dystopian and science fiction genres but at it's heart it is very much an adventure story.  Although slow to start the pace picks up after the first few chapters when we realise that Cass and Wilbur only have six days to accomplish their mission. As the time slowly ticks down on Cass' wrist the tension mounts.

Cass and Wilbur, both Scavs, are the two main characters with Cass being instantly likeable.  She is gutsy, courageous and intelligent , whilst at all times protecting her younger brother Wilbur.  The relationship between Cass and Wilbur is one of the main threads running through the book and Webb expresses the thoughts of each sibling to the other expertly.

Although our main protagonist Cass is a girl, boys will enjoy the Science Fiction elements of the novel.  As the story progresses it becomes much more of a Science Fiction adventure as we meet beings from other worlds, travel into space and encounter the strange part machine-part human 'Okhotniks'.  

As a debut novel there is lots to enjoy here and I was pleased that what I thought was going to be another dystopian fiction novel actually developed into something a little more interesting.  Webb has written a story that although a little bit of a slow burner will engage you if you give it time.  Once hooked you will enjoy the engaging characters, the clever plot and most enjoyable of all,  Webb's wonderful imagination.

Marks out of 10: 6

Here is the trailer for the book...

Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road; Moira Young; Marion Lloyd Books; 2011

Book Summary(taken from Amazon UK):
Every step of Saba's journey sizzles with danger... In a lawless land, where life is cheap and survival is hard, Saba has been brought up in isolated Silverlake. She never sees the dangers of the destructive society outside. When her twin brother is snatched by mysterious black-robed riders, she sets out on an epic quest to rescue him. The story's searing pace, its spare style, the excitement of its fabulously damaged world, its unforgettably vivid characters, its violent action and glorious love story make this a truly sensational YA debut novel.

Literature for Lads review:
This is Moira Young's debut novel and what an entrance to the world of young adult literature she has made.  'Blood Red Road' is a relentless adventure which will grip you from beginning to end and will leave you counting the days until the sequel is released.

The story revolves around Saba trying to find her brother, Lugh, taken from their family home by mysterious men on horseback. Saba's quest takes place in a dystopian world which Young has vividly created.  There are elements of our world and yet so much is different. Cities are now concrete jungles and new species roam the barren wastelands, ready to pounce on unsuspecting souls.

The book moves at an exhilarating pace as Young pushes Saba ever onwards on her quest. Accompanied by younger sister Emmi, Saba endures many challenges including a period where she is a competitor in a'Hunger Games'(fellow dystopian novel) style cage fighting event.

It is within the walls of the cage fighting arena that Saba discovers Jack who joins the two sisters in their desperate search for Lugh. The three of them all play their part in the books exciting final chapters. 

Saba is one of the many reasons you will love this book. Feisty, fearless and yet at times fragile she leads you through Young's desolate landscape with no fear. Jack although arrogant and cocky still comes across as a likeable guy and the love/hate relationship which develops between him and Saba is an enjoyable plot development.

Almost stealing the show from Saba is her pet crow, Nero.  Never has there been a more unorthodox yet instantly likeable hero in a book! A constant confidant for Saba, Nero allows us to see what Saba is really thinking as she continues on her journey.

Young has written the book in the first person in the style of, what I presume, is Saba's Western accent. There is also no speech punctuation and although some may find this tricky it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Blood Red Road is an epic adventure story which will transport you to a near future which will scare you, yet excite you at the same time.  Reminiscent at times of Patrick Ness and Suzanne Collins yet still full of originality Young has written a book which you will be sure to enjoy.

Marks out of 10: 9

Here is a trailer for the book...