by Claire McFall
Author: Claire McFall
Britain is no more.
England put up huge walls bordering Scotland, Wales and Ireland to keep the Scots, Welsh and Irish out. They are known as 'Celts' and if they are caught in England without the right ID, they get branded with a tattoo on their cheek. Caught twice and they are executed.
The novel follows a girl named Lizzie, who works for a gang trying to change England back to the way it was. She is kept around because of her skill in setting bombs, but she knows that if she tries to escape, she will die. She is the property of charismatic Alex, the leader of the gang, and her every move is tracked and controlled.
The novel is a thrilling mixture of action and romance, one transitioning into the other almost seamlessly. McFall's writing is amazing, hooking the reader from the first page as she slowly reveals how England became the way it is seen in the novel and also how Lizzie got to where she was; the reader is left wanting more throughout the whole novel, making it a disappointment when the novel ends. It had me hooked and I had to keep reading on, waiting to find out new pieces of information about Lizzie and all of the characters.
The characters were all well developed and deep, which did surprise me slightly. To be honest, I was expecting some underdeveloped characters that I would wish were not around, but each character was different and that was refreshing and enjoyable. However, at some points, the action was too fas- paced and sometimes felt a bit rushed, as if McFall wanted to move on quickly. Therefore, some of the explosive scenes were over too quickly and this irritated me as a reader; I would have expected them to be a little longer, so they couldn't just come and go. On the other hand, her writing is still exceptional throughout and the action is well written, which made me happy and even though the fast pace didn't appeal to me, it may appeal to other readers.
I would recommend this novel to anybody over thirteen who enjoys a book that can provide action and romance simultaneously and can also leave you wanting more. It made me want to keep reading on and was extremely enjoyable. I think that many others would also enjoy this brilliant Young Adult novel, which is unlike any other I have read before, and I would recommend it very highly!
Recommended for teen readers +
Shona Elrick (14)