Friday, January 1, 2010
Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand
Release Date: Available Now from Chicken House
Source: Personal Collection
It's the 22nd century and, because of climate change, much of England is underwater. Poor Lilly is out fishing with her trusty sea-cat when greedy raiders pillage the town--and kidnap the prime minister's daughter. Her village blamed, Lilly decides to find the girl. Off she sails, in secret. And with a ransom: a mysterious talking jewel. "If I save his daughter," Lilly reasons, "the prime minister's sure to reward me." Little does Lilly know that it will take more than grit to outwit the tricky, treacherous piratical tribes!
This is such a fantastic book. It has it all, action, adventure, a post-apocalyptic society. Yay!! I love the setting which is an England almost completely underwater. The Scottish are the only ones who still embrace and treasure technology, while everyone else has warded it off as evil. There are pirates and raids and spies. Oooo...so good!
Lilly is from a small fishing village and has only her sea-cat to rely on to survive not only the seas, but also those rocky paths that life is sending her on. Lilly is an incredibly heroic little girl who's trying to save her village and her friends in any way she knows how.
Although the book takes place well into the future, the storyline and characterizations give it the feel of an old swashbuckling adventure story. At times it's easy to forget that the characters ships are sailing over the ruins of England. Luckily, Diamand finds a way to keep that timeless feel, while still reminding us of the lost civilization beneath the sea. She seamlessly incorporates the culture that has sworn of tech, with the hidden wonders of technology left in Lilly's world. It's a great juxtaposition that kept me craving more.
This is an incredible first book. It's categorized for younger or at least MG readers, but I think anyone would enjoy it. With the popularity of dystopias and post-apocalyptic fiction, this is one not to be missed. Zeph, Lexy, and Lilly are great fun to follow through their trials and tribulations and I can't wait to see what happens to them next.
Diamand's second book, Flood and Fire, comes out in the UK on March 1st. I don't know when the US release date is, but I will most likely be ordering it from AmazonUK as I just can't wait. Another winning title from Scholastic's Chicken House.