On sale in October!
Pssst! Ever wanted to see the city of London laid in ruin? Have we got a book for you. It seems that as of late, post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction is all the rage. One has to wonder; is this a result of a global air pessimism and disillusionment in our modern world culture? Or will we see the cycle shift back to “shiny-white happy futures” soon? Certainly, every generation has felt privileged to be the last, as certain doom must ultimately lay just around the corner. Douglas Adams said it best when he noted that garden-variety paranoia was a natural state in the universe…
Which brings us to this weeks’ review, London Eye: Toxic City Book One by Tim Lebbon. Out in early October 2012 from Pyr Books, London Eye is a teen saga of the near future based in a decimated London. The city has been struck by a biological terrorist weapon in 2019, and each chapter is punctuated with news dispatches of the attack. London Eye is very fast paced, and the world of the after math is glimpsed thru these flashbacks. Against this backdrop, Jack and his band make their way back into the quarantined city looking for friends and family members. The book is billed as “the X-Men meets the Hunger Games” but it puts us a bit more in mind of the Misfits series shoved into the near future.
Those who didn’t die in the devastating attack referred to by the characters simply as Doomsday have begun to evolve bizarre abilities in order to survive in this devastated realm. Choppers, giant scorpions and more all threaten our heroes and heroines, along with a devastating secret that may yet doom the world outside. I thought the imagery of the enormous mass graves that Jack’s crew encountered was especially effective.
The author employs an interesting technique of revealing the world of Toxic City in brief flashes; you’re along for the ride, witnessing the horrors and the aftermath of the attack along with these outsiders for the first time. Though they dare to penetrate this terrifying world, they also become unwitting observers and participants in documenting the results of the attack. Several plot lines lay open which will no doubt be followed in the series. What kind of bizarre and horrific experiments are the Choppers running? Who was behind the initial attacks and what were their motives? What will the consequences be for this unauthorized intrusion by Jack & his band? Would you risk such a journey for family and friends if you had the choice? All very topical teen fiction themes. Like the Hunger Games, Toxic City depicts a future world where teens are asked to grow up way too early, a dilemma to which many kids can relate. Here’s to many more and a good long run for the Toxic City series; be sure to check it out next month and get in on the ground floor!