This dystopian novel is edgy and atmospheric and shows how easily civilisations collapse in the face of extreme adversity.
After her parents fled on the last boat out of Norwich headed to the mainland, Zoe has learnt to survive on the streets - eating the food scraps that she can find and sheltering in the abandoned buildings. When she stumbles upon a boat, she is full of hope of being able to journey across the ocean and find her parents.
But instead of finding her parents, Zoe finds herself on an island where the inhabitants have turned ‘wild’ and are led by the mysterious Dooby. In order to continue to the mainland she will need to find her boat that has been hidden by Dooby’s minions and escape without being seen. If she can, there is a new world and new people waiting for her.
This is a read that is driven by determination, hope and an unshakeable belief. Zoe is convinced that her parents are still alive and despite not seeing them for over a year she just cannot accept that they simply did not return for her. I really like Zoe, she is strong-minded and strong-willed.
Although this a fantasy story, it seems all too real. Global warming and rising sea levels could eventually see much of the land as it currently is on earth be submerged by the rising sea levels. The actions of the characters in the story are what happens when resources become scarce and daily life becomes a survival of the fittest. Tribes form and invasions on worthless land with no food or animals become commonplace. Civilisation collapses in the face of the adverse conditions and we see how community and kindness are quickly replaced by feeding for one’s self and defending your territory from others at all costs.
A thought-provoking fantasy read that has an all too real feel to it. If the seas do continue to rise and rise and we don’t do anything to stop global warming then this dystopian fantasy may become fact rather than fiction.
Recommended for 9+.