Friday, 14 May 2010

Review: Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Restoring HarmonyIt's 2041 and the Molly McClure's family are worried about news of her grandmother being ill, possibly dead. The family decide that Molly should go and find out what has happened and if possible bring Grandpa back home with her. It's a long hard trip for sixteen year old Molly to make, from their small island in British Columbia to Oregon in the United States. She can't just hop in a car as since the Collapse there's no oil and she's not suppose to cross the boarder without an adult. Public transport is, at best, poor and unreliable. Food is in short supply and crime is rampant. Still, the journey there is a whole lot easier than the one to get home again.

Predominantly a dystopian novel, Restoring Harmony also lends it's self to history, mentioning both directly and in some ways indirectly to the time of Prohibition in the 1920's and 30's. While no ban on alcohol as then, the lack of oil has led the United States to a state where although the government are still technically in charge, with people not able to pay taxes, organized crime has taken over.

As a character I really liked Molly. She's a tough cookie and she's smart but at the same time, she's sixteen and has lived a pretty sheltered life on an isolated farming island. She feels lost in the big cities but her courage and playing her fiddle get her through. She has a load of tough decisions to make during her trip and sometimes she's not always sure she's made the right one. She's cautious of strangers but realises that sometimes she might just have to rely on their help.

Spiller is one of my favourite kinds of characters, that great mix of bad boy who's also good. For most of the book he gives of this "should you trust me" kind of vibe. You want to but should you?

There's a nice pace to the book, with just enough going on to keep the pages turning without everything flying by in a rush. The middle of the book was a little bit slower than the rest of it but to me this was a time when molly was stuck at her grandparents house with no way of getting home other than to just wait and hope something turned up so to me, the slower pace helped convey this.

I really enjoyed this book and although in some ways a little scary, it is totally believable that in the time scale (i.e. thirty years from now) that some, if not all of this could happen.

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