Reviewed by Geraldine Charles
"Magic just got real..."
Set in a disturbingly not-very far-distant future, Britain is suffering the effects of a worldwide lack of resources and energy, and is at war to try and secure supplies. However, the south-west peninsula, basically Devon and Cornwall, has split off and is trying to be self-sufficient and non-polluting, in stark contrast to the rest of the country. The two worlds are distinguished by the names "Greenworld" and "Redworld", with the latter, of course, constituting the rest of Britain, still consumerist and increasingly controlled by criminal gangs.
Our hero, Danny, is a sixteen-year-old boy, much interested in girls and less so in politics, although he chafes a little under the rule of the powerful witches – mostly women – who run the Greenworld. But Danny has an important destiny – can he help the Greenworld survive the threat that is rushing towards them all?
Running parallel to this story is the budding romance between Danny and the daughter of another powerful witch – but you'll have to read the novel to see how that works out...
I have never had a sixteen-year-old son so cannot speak from experience, but Danny is a very believable and likeable teenage boy, whose journey towards a powerful adulthood I read with a great deal of sympathy, even when he was irritating.
It's a good page-turner. Despite being a science-fiction fan I'm altogether the wrong generation to get totally hooked on a coming-of-age novel aimed at young adults, but could not help being drawn in by the excellent use of humour and well-written magical scenes, and was gratified that the novel doesn't avoid more difficult areas of gender and race while being exciting, with plenty of action. I believe a sequel is already out, and enjoyed this enough to look forward to reading that, too.
This would make an excellent Yule gift for the older teenager or young adult in your life!
You can read more about the book, and Anna, at her website.
A web designer and all-round computer person, Geraldine is responsible for a number of websites. In her spare time she writes articles and poems, loves researching Goddess in mythology and also produces artwork on her beloved computer. She also runs an online correspondence course called "Getting to know the Goddess".