Plot: Seven people. Seven months. And one island. All they have to do is survive. With the food resources running low and no chance of outside help or they lose the prize money they have been promised.
This is what television has become in the future, a way of controlling violence to keep society happy. Those on the island have their reasons for being there and have their reasons for wanting to survive the trials ahead of them. But being isolated and alone doesn’t mean they know everything going on in their surroundings, nor where the danger might come from.
Quote: `It’s obvious, isn’t it? The news programs always lead with violence. If it bleeds it leads. The media jump on every conspiracy rumour, for the ratings, because people want to feel that life is full of danger. Otherwise they’re bored!`
Opinion: This book only took me a few days to read. I was glad of that. I think if it had dragged on for longer, I would have grown bored. As it was, I enjoyed what I read.
The plot was simply: seven people must survive on an island over winter with no outside help. Of course, there were a few twists along the way. Mainly that the outside world is not to be trusted. But while that threw a few curveballs to the characters, because the reader was privy to these actions, it didn’t work to build tension. The tension was literally between the characters rather than the characters and the reader. The lack of tension is the main reason I’m glad the book was no longer.
The narration changes between several characters. While I would define Ambrose as the “main” character, they are all developed at the same level. We know their backstories, although in an expositional way as they discuss their lives with the others. Considering the setting, this works though. They are strangers, after all. What lacks is a deep connection with them. There is sex, but there is no bond, no hint these people have had an impact on their lives beyond the island.
It is a story of sex and violence basically. But an interesting look at what our society could become in the future. It’s an intriguing idea – although I did think at the beginning I was entering the Hunger Games again. The writing is consistent and steady throughout, although the change in narration does become too frequent at times to stay engaged with what is happening.
This was an enjoyable book. It didn’t spark of fireworks of creativity, but the pacing was strong and the length right for the content. Harvey should have introduced more tension to draw the reader in and care for his characters to add a new dimension to the book. There could have been more of a connection.
A steady book from a steady writer, although not one I would rush back to read again. I would recommend it to those interested in a dystopian genre though.