Seven Second Delay by Tom Easton

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Seven Second Delay by Tom Easton

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Mila is running for her life, but is seven seconds enough of a head start to keep the government off her tail?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 978-1783440344

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In the future, the difference between West and East are greater than ever. Europe has evolved into the (British) Isles and the (E)U, linked by a bridge, and immigrants risk everything to pass from the third world of the latter to the first world of the former. Mila has made it across, but the danger is not over, and as she falls into the hands of the Agents, she realises the real price of freedom.

This is an exciting book that I docked stars from only because I found the start a little confusing, with it hard to get my head around what was going on. This is a book of flashbacks, both to the time just before, and also to longer ago when Mila was at home in her own country, and they don’t really help you keep things straight. I’d have preferred to get into the story fully before they started, so I could better appreciate how the acts of the present were impacted upon by the past.

The seven second delay of the title comes from the time lag between what Mila sees and what those hunting her see in the relay from her brain, just enough time for her to get away from them, and throw them off her trail. The question is, with the Agents hot on her heels, will seven seconds ever be enough of a head start? And can Mila really run for the rest of her life?

I love dystopian fiction and all so often the stuff I read, like this, is aimed at a teenage audience. It makes sense: who appreciates how hard it is to fit in a ‘foreign’ world more than adolescents trying to find out who they are? This book has similarities to many other similar works, from the hunting of children as seen in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to a world split into the haves and have nots like in The Fall by Claire Merle. I’m not saying it’s an unoriginal story, because the spin is certainly a new one, but more I’m encouraging fans of those sorts of titles to have a look at this one too, and feel in a familiar world in the process.

This is a book full of momentum, and you read it with the same breathlessness Mila encounters. I got into it, but it took a while, and I think I’d had liked it that little bit more if we’d got off to a better start from page one. If you’re going to pick this one up, keep that in mind.

I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. We also have a review of HAV3N by Tom Easton.

My all-time favourite teen dystopia of recent years starts with The Declaration by Gemma Malley Check it out!

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