Exodus by Julie Bertagna
|Exodus by Julie Bertagna|
|Reviewer: Rachael Spencer|
|Summary: This dystopian novel set in a world flooded by melting polar ice caps gives a glimpse into what the future could possibly hold amidst all our discussion of climate change. A landscape of fear, endless sea, and cities built high above the waves is the backdrop for Mara, the intrepid teenager who is never willing to give up, even in the most desperate of circumstances. I really enjoyed this.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: August 2017|
|Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books|
Exodus is a book which, though fifteen years old, strikes some horrifying truths about the world we live in right at this moment. Set in a world ravaged by global warming and melting ice-caps, this is the story of the last inhabitants of an island called Wing, who set sail in search of a new life once Wing is sunk under the rising tide. It turns out to be a much wilder story than you'd thing, and one which dredges up so many interesting questions.
It is 2100 and the world is almost entirely under water, only a few islands remain and Mara lives on one of them, Wing. However Wing isn't going to be above water for much longer, Mara has spent the years watching tides creep closer and closer to her house, over the old bridge and eventually up past the telephone box. Eventually it can't be ignored any longer and Mara has an idea. She just needs to convince the rest of the people on the island of it.
The thing I loved most about this novel was how it managed to mesh so many times and places together. Though it's set in the future, the circumstance makes the start of the novel seem like it could easily be set in the past because the ways in which the islanders have been forced to change the way they live in order to survive the changing climate. Computers and technology are seen as relics from a time gone by and now what matters is repairing clothes and baking bread, reusing and scavenging on the shore to recycle anything they can. It paints an interesting picture for the future in a landscape no different to ours.
It fascinated me that Bertagna managed to skip from this pretty scarily realistic setting into what got progressively more and more sci-fi and as the story progressed. I think it was a clever move to go from this almost historic feeling opening into the futuristic world built high above the sea, surrounded by boat bound refugee camps and the underworld beyond the gates. It's this world which Mara has to try to navigate and understand, thinking on her feet to stay alive.
There's a wonderful cast of characters in this novel, and the way each group of people is so spectacularly different is impressive – it gives great thought to the fact that our upbringings and surroundings play a huge part in who we become and what our communities and cultures see as normal.
Overall, I thought I was just going to get the story of some people fleeing the old world for the new, but the actuality was that it's a much bigger story than that. The fleeing is only the beginning, which wasn't what I anticipated at all. It could have seemed too dismal a prospect as a story, but somehow there always seemed to be hope, no matter how bleak a situation Mara found herself in, which makes for a good driven plot. So much so, that I think I'll be picking up the next novel in the series when I next get chance.
I'd definitely recommend this book, it's got the plot, pace and characters to keep you interested, as well as the questions it might raise regarding the planet we all inhabit. Great stuff.
If you enjoyed this novel, then I think Divergent by Veronica Roth would probably be up your street too, for a good bit of dystopian adventure.
You can read more book reviews or buy Exodus by Julie Bertagna at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Exodus by Julie Bertagna at Amazon.com.
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