Why a booktrail?
TIME – In the Future. While London burns, and its people live in poverty, a ship holds the only hope for escape…or does it?
Story in a nutshell
London as you know it no longer exists. Civilsation is coming to an end. Oxford Street is burning, Regent’s Street has been bombed and those people who can’t produce an ID card, well you might as well not exist.
The only place which remains remotely recognisable is the British Museum. Well that’s if you can see past the crowds of survivors and disappearing displays from the once grand museum. The Nazareth Act has come into force. All those who can board the ship should do so.
Because the ship is a floating salvation from this living nightmare….isn’t it?Only the worthy will be chosen but who decides and what kind of world lies on board this ship? 500 people are about to find out.
Place and setting
Set in the not-too-distant future, the setting of a London under siege, burning, fraught with danger, poverty and disease is nevertheless largely recognisable as the city we know today. Minus the dystopian setting obviously but this recognition of present day places and events makes for a chilling and uncomfortable scene.
London is now somewhat changed – the crowds, the comfortable life which Lalla shares with her parents in Central London, the parks, the British Museum and familiar streets such as Oxford Street and Gower Street in a very different light and they become terrifying places.
This is London but not as we know it. Lalla is cut off from most of the horror since her only trips out are to the British Museum where she looks at the exhibits, notices the homeless who have not been registered and so are not entitled to food or supplies. Regents park for example has become a refugee camp of sorts. Bombs fall on those not registered.
The ship comes into dock as being the one place which could save humanity. Lalla’s father has bought it and equipped it for the hundreds of people he has selected to go on board. A human Noah’s ark if you will. Lalla believes with the others that as this is the end of civilsation then the ship is the only way out. But life on the ship is not what is seems. Everything they do on board is controlled, from the food they eat to the news they hear. But who is controlling what and why?
And what has happened to London and the outside world?
Quick someone head over to the British Museum and check it’s still there? And Regent’s Park….and London now you think about it. I live near the sea and I swear if I look out and see a ship, I don’t know what I’ll do.
The setting for this was so recongisable as was the language and coming of age feel to it all then I really saw London in a new light. Blimey, I’ll certainly take a new look at life now. It was thrilling to see how Lalla was so protective in her world but then how she came to realise what else was just yards from her own door.
I don’t know what other dystopian worlds are like but this was chilling yet also normal which made it even more chilling. Like Lalla, I was unsettled with the idea of the ship but intrigued to board. It did sound a marvellous place in some respects with its blue velvet benches and chandeliers but in a very creepy way. I really was looking over my shoulder reading this such was the feeling that I was being led astray and knew I shouldn’t be going there.
Can’t really say much more without giving spoilers but this was good. Very very good and I really feel as if I’ve read something I have never read before. I’m going on a ferry in few weeks and am getting nervous sweats already…..