Silver by Chris Wooding

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Silver by Chris Wooding

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: The Dead by Charlie Higson meets the Rise of the Machines in an exciting, action packed YA novel with plenty to offer the adult reader as well.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: May 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1407124285

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'Silver' has a large ant with silver circuits on the cover, and while there are no actual ants in this book, the illustration is very well suited. This books puts a unique twist on the ever popular zombie genre. Instead of living corpses, we have nanobots which can turn humans into machines. They possess a swarm intelligence similar to ants. This sounds far fetched but a great deal of progress has been made in research currently being conducted with just this in mind - to create nanobots with swarm intelligence - a phenomenon well known in the natural sciences in which a less intelligent organism is capable of highly intelligent behaviour through a hive mind. It would be impossible for scientists to control hundreds or thousands of nanobots independently - so the idea is to control a few and have these control the rest. Of course there would always be safeguards on this type of technology and there were safeguards in the book as well - they just didn't work.

All the events in this book take place within a 24 hour time span. This makes the book extremely fast paced once you get past the first few chapters. That isn't to say this is a slow starter. It captures the readers interest very quickly and builds swiftly from an ordinary pace to a frenetic adrenaline-fuelled adventure. The opening chapters set the stage with excellent character development as Moore creates not one, but two distinct personas for each character. There is the public face they show the world, and the inner personality of each, which is often quite at odds with the mask they hide behind. The main character is a troubled teen named Paul who has ended up in Mortingham Boarding Academy after the death of his parents. He hasn't really come to terms with his loss yet, but he is going to have move forward if he is to have any hope of survival, or of saving those who look to him for help. Each of the other characters brings different strengths and weaknesses to the group, and mistrust abounds but the survivors have no choice but to rely on each other. Some become unlikely heroes, as their talents thrust them into the limelight for the first time in their lives and the drama unfolding will test each member to the fullest.

I really enjoyed this book. Once started I found it very difficult to put down and finished the entire book in one night. The build up of tension is perfect and the characters are exceptionally well written. I wasn't entirely satisfied by the ending, as it left one unresolved issue, but I expected this from the beginning. There is certainly room for a sequel here, and if Wooding does write one, I would not hesitate to purchase a copy.

If this book appeals then have a look at:

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

Deadlands by Lily Herne

Malice by Chris Wooding

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Buy Silver by Chris Wooding at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Silver by Chris Wooding at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Silver by Chris Wooding at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Silver by Chris Wooding at


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