Title: Flood Child
Author: Emily Diamand
Series: Flood Child #1
Genre: Future Post-Apocalypse
Publisher: Chicken House
Summary (from Goodreads)
Flooded England, 2216 … England has changed for ever: most of it is under water. Worse, bloodthirsty pirates prowl the shores, and when they kidnap the Prime Minister’s daughter it looks like war. But out of this drowning world comes Lilly Melkun, a girl determined to put things right, with the help of a pirate boy – and an extraordinary treasure from the past, with the power to change the Future…
What’s Good About It
I’m on a bit of a Dystopia kick at the moment. What with Hunger Games and Uglies and writing my own Dystopian future novel, I’m demolishing any YA novel with a hint of Future Gone to Hell. Naturally, when I saw this on the shelf in the library, I couldn’t resist. Despite having an already substantial reading list of my own books…
And it didn’t disappoint.
Generally I think there are two kinds of Dystopia – technology gone crazy like Uglies, or return to the past where a technological breakdown plunges everyone into the dark ages. Flood Child is the latter.
The world Lilly Melkun lives in is a barbaric, harsh world, where peasants struggle to get by as raiders smash their boats and destroy their livelihoods. The priests speak of the time of ‘puters’ as a period of great excess and evil, responsible for the flooded plight of the current people.
It’s a world easy to imagine, what with global warming and melting ice caps, which makes it a rather frightening one to read about.
I liked the characters, and the choice to have both a fisher village girl and a Reaver (sort of like a pirate) boy telling the story as a dual narrative made it a much richer story. Without Zeph’s point of view it would have been easy for the Reavers to become evil charicatures, but in creating him as a sympathetic character, Emily Diamand challenges the reader to overturn any preconceptions. Which I think is a really important thing in children’s literature – learning that there is always another side to the story.
What’s Not So Good
The phonetic dialect, while not overbearing, won’t be to everyone’s taste. It’s not ridiculous, but things like ‘ent’ instead of ‘isn’t’ are common in both speech and the prose (as it’s a first person perspective, it is at least the character’s voice) and the initial transistion from Lilly’s perspective to Zeph’s confused me, until I realised the drawing at the head of the chapter changed with the different characters – a cat for Lilly a knife for Zeph. Once I’d twigged that I was with a new character, it was fine. The book doesn’t struggle to differentiate the voice of the characters, and they never sound the same.
N.B. This was originally published as Reaver’s Ransom