Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose’s identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind.
But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties. How much does she really know about her father’s past? How far is the Department willing to go to keep the peace? And, if the time comes, will Rose choose to protect her secret, or the people she loves?
I think dystopias set in London are the in thing just now. I felt this was quite similar to The Bone Season what with the aliens and all that. Though I would say that The Bone Season was much better than this, I did feel that some parts of it still needed some work.
I didn’t quite understand why some of the characters made the decisions they did. I didn’t understand why this top secret “Department” allowed teenagers to take part in investigations. It also seemed to be terrible at following its own rules, most of the problems in the book wouldn’t have happened if it followed the rules and didn’t tell civilians about top secret work.
I also didn’t like the references to Tesco, the Westfield Shopping Center and Star Trek. It brought be out of the novel and I really can’t believe that in a dystopian setting after years of war people are just going about shopping like nothing happened.
But the thing with this book is I’m seriously impressed with the author, she is only 15 years old, she was 13 when she wrote this story. And while its not great, its not terrible either. It still needs some work but its an impressive first book for someone who hasn’t even finished school yet.
*I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.