FloodWorld by Tom Huddleston

This book is set in a dystopian world – rising sea levels have flooded the UK and a wall has been built around the capital to protect ‘the rich folks of the city’ – an elite group of society. This is surrounded by the Shanties, ‘a floating scum clinging to the outside of the Wall’ where its i struggle to survive. Here, society has set its own rules and resentment builds against those protected by the Wall.
We meet the two main characters of the book, Joe and Kara, when they are diving for artefacts in the grimy waters surrounding the Wall. Joe finds a small metal bear that he takes back to the surface. The bear travels with him throughout the book, gradually becoming more beleaguered as the novel progresses and the two teenagers fight to build a better future. They hear of a terrorist attack, resulting in a James Bond style adventure story, including a stolen submarine, secret tunnels and a bomb. In true Bond style there is a definite theme of good vs bad, although this is tipped on its head as you carry on reading.
There is a lovely reference to how a future world would comprehend ours, when they struggle over a ‘treasure map’ consisting of wiggly lines. It is only later in the book, the reader learns it is a map of the London Underground!
FloodWorld is a fast-paced adventure book filled with gritty realism, a feisty female protagonist and strong bonds between friends. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it at school, but I am undecided with an age group recommendation – I feel the language is aimed at 9-12 year olds, but there are a few moments that this group may struggle with, such as the description of a mangled face in a fire as Cortez burns to death, but I may just be ultra-sensitive! There is a dystopian feel to this book, and I think fans of ‘The Hunger Games’ would love it.

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Secondary school librarian at Mascalls Academy, Kent

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