Monday, 18 July 2011

Review: Six Days - Philip Webb

Title: Six Days
Author: Philip Webb
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Genre: Young adult
Published: 4th July 2011 (Chicken House)

For Cass, the life of a 'scav' is all she’s ever known – scavenging what’s left of London in search of a precious relic no-one, not even her new Russian masters, has ever seen.

But when two survivors from another time show up, claiming they hold the key to the whereabouts of the missing ‘artefact’, scavving will never be the same again. They have six days to find it before their world will come to an end.

A gripping post-apocalyptical adventure set in the ruins of London about a desperate race to find a relic of extraordinary power. Spectacular science-fiction debut from Philip Webb.

Future London has been destroyed by bio-chemical warfare and taken over by the New Russians. Under their command, the Scavs search the remains of the city for an artefact no one has ever seen. No one even knows what it looks like. Cass's family do this day in, day out because they know no other way. Then on one shift her younger brother, Wilbur, disappears, believing he's onto the location of the artefact. Cass tracks him down to Big Ben where they come across a strange boy called Peyto. Peyto is from another time and reveals that they have six days to find the artefact otherwise the world will come to an end.

Six Days is an exciting, action packed sci-fi adventure. I found this book a little hard to get into right at the start, I think because it's written from Cass's point of view in the kind of slang you'd expect her to use. It wasn't hard to understand but for me it didn't seem to flow right away. A couple of (short) chapters in, however, I'd gotten used to it and in many ways it added to the story. Plus, the age of the reader this book is aimed at probably wouldn't even notice it's slang.

The story is much more plot based than character based and while the characters were likeable enough, I didn't feel like I really got to know them. Still, the action carried the story along nicely and so mostly the lack of deep connection with the characters wasn't really a bad thing. Don't get me wrong, the characters were certainly well developed in the author's mind and this showed in that they weren't dull or flat. Also, the plot was really detailed so it would have probably been too much to have a lot of in depth character development as well.

A great read which would particularly interest boys of the ten to fourteen age range.

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