Boy 23 isn’t in My Place any more. He can’t see The Screen, he can’t hear The Voice. Boy 23 is alone.
One dark night, Boy 23 is thrown in the back of the van and driven out of My Place – the only home he has ever known. He is abandoned in a forest with a rucksack containing the bare essentials for survival. Before the van drives away, a voice tells him he must run as far as he can. His life depends on it. Boy 23 has never known another human. Boy 23 has never even been outside. So who is he? Why do people want to kill him? And more to the point, who is the voice that wants to save him?
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It had great pacing, a unique storyline, and interesting characters. There were only a couple of things that stopped me from giving it 5 stars.
I found the language that Jesper (aka “Boy 23”) used to be a little annoying – “squizz” instead of look, “yomp” instead of walk, “squawk” instead of bird, etc… I get that it differentiates him from the regular populace, but it felt a little tacky. It didn’t really seem necessary as “The Voice” spoke regular English, so there was no obvious reason for Jesper to speak the way he did.
I also found the information drop at the end to be rather odd. All the details about Jesper that were thrown upon the reader, with very little hinting to it throughout the rest of the book, felt quite jarring. The revealing of information throughout the novel could have been spread out a little better, so there weren’t all these details coming to light at the very end.
Other than those couple of things, this was quite a good read. I really liked the character of Carina, as she seemed very authentic in her kindness. I loved that she wasn’t a “special snowflake” and was only given the opportunities she received due to her being kind to the one person that no one else would go near. She was just a really genuine person, which is something I love to read.
As far as the actual story goes, I found it to be quite original and interesting. I would have liked a little more detail about the overall setting, but that says more about me as a reader than the book. In actual fact, the setting was described subtly, and in a way that didn’t distract from the plot.
For most of the story, it felt like a stand alone, but the ending was left very open. I’m not sure if there is going to be a sequel, or if that’s that. Either way, this was a great book, and I recommend it for people who like dystopias, but are a little tired of the standard tropes.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*