Thursday, 26 May 2011
Edge (Thomas Blackthorne) - book review
Fictional dystopian futures are often entertaining (for me, anyway) but they can be clichéd and predictable. Thomas Blackthorne's novel Edge probably doesn't quite qualify as fully dystopian but it is still a very compelling book detailing a Britain a few years from now in which life is going down the toilet for most of the population. You think people take TV like The X Factor seriously now? How about televised knife fights? How about a knife culture so ingrained in our society that almost everyone carries a blade and challenges to a fight literally mean life and death? If this sounds like your thing, you're in for a treat.
There are a couple of plotlines running through Edge. A teenage boy with an extreme phobia of knives has run away from his wealthy father after one session with a psychiatrist. Ex-military man Josh Cumberland is tasked with finding the boy while he attempts to come to terms with the failure of his marriage and a family member comatose in hospital. There's an upcoming General Election which looks like the incumbent PM staying in place despite the state of the country. And the US is one step away from civil war. Although it might sound as if there's too much going on to form a coherent story, these issues all work and come together to create a developed world. Not one I'd want to live in, but still one which might come to us if we're not careful.
My only complaint is with Cumberland's character. He's too much of a Jack Bauer/Jason Bourne for my taste. While those characters are entertaining, they're becoming a bit of a cliché. Successful, yes, but still overdone.
Either way, Edge is definitely worth checking out and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Point.