Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Genre: Children’s Dystopian
Opening lines: Zoe ran. Harder than she had ever run in her life.
My Thoughts: My biggest complaint about FLOODLAND is that it is too short and as a result it suffered from not being able to give enough information to the reader to totally be at ease with what was going on. Ten-year old Zoe lives on Norwich. No, that’s not a typo – Norwich has become an island as the ice caps melted and sea levels rose inundating much of Britain and the rest of the world. Supplies were running out and six months previously when the boat came to drop off supplies for the last time Zoe’s parents make it out but she is left behind. Zoe now has to fend for herself in a settlement which is growing smaller each day, while the people become more savage and desperate. Zoe finds a boat and rows off to find her parents. Half way to what’s left of the mainland she comes across another small isle that is dominated by huge Cathedral. A grimy, miserable and unpleasant place the young population is starving and under the thumb of a thug called Dooby. They call themselves, the Eels and do battle with at least two other groups called Cats and Horses. When I say do battle I mean heads being chopped off and torturing of ‘spies.’ Zoe is forced to stay on the island when her boat is hidden, and life is very, very dismal. However Zoe is a gutsy little girl and survives long enough to find her boat, make an ally and to escape in the middle of a battle and continue off to find her parents. FLOODLAND is unrelentingly miserable and dark with a lot of unanswered questions. I found the end to be a bit of an anti-climax after all the drama building in the first ¾ of the book. I understand Zoe is only 10 so should only have the understanding of a 10-year-old; and the book is aimed at older children rather than adults; but I still would have liked the book to be longer to give more of a background because even young kiddies like to know why! Despite its bleakness the story itself is very good and has a very believable plot it’s just that Zoe is all over the place as far as her character goes and on top of that it seems like the story starts and ends in the middle. FLOODLAND is Marcus Sedgwick’s debut novel – and he has gone on to write 32 more, this is my first experience of his work.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it.
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