My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I struggled with this book, the premise was really good, a dystopian novel set in a London not too dissimilar from London today, except the soil has failed and the banks have collapsed one last terminal time. People camp out in Regents Park and the British Museum and life is controlled by whether you have an up to date identity card or not. Unusually for a dystopian novel, the main character, the teenage Lalla, is from a very wealthy family and lives a reasonably ‘pampered’ existence (compared to everyone else anyway). When her father rescues her from the decaying city and provides a life on a ship that to everyone else feels like heaven and all she can do is question and whinge and sulk, that’s when she gets even more annoying and I struggled with the book more. Okay a lot of the sulking and questioning had a point but I found Lalla to be an incredibly unempathetic character. I think I found it quite hard to switch off what I would do / feel in that situation (something completely different to what Lalla does), so the book just grated.
I am giving this book 3 stars, although I was tempted to give it just 2 because although the writing was generally good and it’s an original idea, it was let down by the main character not really having anything redeeming or likeable about her. I also thought other aspects of the story (notably her father’s behaviour) could have been explored further.