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Utopia Kindle Edition
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And this is cracking fiction. It is, of course, YA and I’m sadly an OA, but even I enjoyed it thoroughly as it is the actual writing that interests me in this genre of literature. Utopia is a deceptively simple story written in lucid, lustrous prose that makes for a smooth, exciting reading experience. It is short and swiftly narrated and with a satisfactory denouement. Yes, as in much YA dystopia fiction, weaponry is still stubbornly Iron Age (knives, hatchets) and modern surveillance technology clunky and lax (patchy CCTV, weak email scanning, clumsy TV censorship, easily available photocopiers, bulky security men), but what the hell, it’s not real – I think. When the author finishes her doctorate (if she hasn’t already done so) and is looking for employment she should not let slip her fiction writing because she is a natural. Of course (hint, hint), it doesn’t have to be restricted to YA.
I like the ease in the story telling in Carla Eatherington’s Utopia. The author takes the reader in by the hand and offers something warm and inviting. The writing is clean and there is a wholesomeness to it. Still, this is a dystopian that takes liberties at every turn.
While they are living in a compound the outside world is their mystery and becomes a mystery for us too.
I enjoyed the suspense in not knowing where this would lead and I liked that the characters were realistic and could be any one of us. This imaginative story kept me curious and entertained from start to finish. A nice surprise because I tend not to be a fan of fantasy of any kind but the author paints a believable tale and does so with great talent and intensity. There is passion in telling this story and I could feel the connection that she had with her characters.
"I stand like a statue as the figure slowly raises an arm and pulls back the hood, removing the shadow cast over his face. His features look sharper in the moonlight, his eyes set deep in their sockets like precious gems in a rock face."
‘An icy billow of air barges its way past me as I pull the front door open. I shudder, reaching back inside to lift a heavy woollen coat off the hook. It’s my mother’s, and swinging it around my shoulders I’m swathed in a warm embrace which smells of her perfume. The scent is honeysuckle, like my mother’s namesake, but the wind soon carries it away.’
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, it has strong characters, a great setting and a believable plot. There’s a bit of romance brewing but no slushy soppy stuff (a huge bonus) because there simply isn’t time in the serious situation these characters are facing.
What I loved most of all though was the premise of the whole story because it has been informed by this author’s particular interest in animal and human behaviour. There is a short piece at the end to explain this further, and it is fascinating.
This is aimed at young adults but I am not one of those and yet still enjoyed it so I would recommend to all who are looking for a good story.