This book is certainly well written. One would expect nothing less of Gillian Cross. It is also high concept, dystopian and presents a disturbing near future. Unusually it is not young adult though protagonist Matt does a lot of growing up. I’d describe it as fluent reader though Matt is probably about fourteen. Well, youngsters like to read up. It impressed me because above all it scared me.
The crash of the five major banks causes food shortages, hoarding of food and raids at gunpoint on the homes of those who hoard or who grow their own food. Matt and his family are hoarders and grow their own food. Matt, his younger brother, Taco, and his stepfather, Justin, escape to France where they are accommodated in a huge refugee camp. Life is harsh there. Cross successfully uses fiction to explore the truth of that situation.
There is a hopeful ending though we still see no easy way out of a dire situation. The story makes one pause and look at what is happening in our own world. It actually isn’t all that different.
A must read for everyone. Well-crafted characterisation, a fast pace and a good amount of tension keep us reading.