Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick

COVER floodland by marcus sedgwickRating: 7 out of 10

Zoe was born into a world of floods. All the land on earth is slowly being eaten up by the rising sea–her parents tell her things were not always like this: people didn’t used to have to scavenge in broken buildings for food, there used to be land all around, land so far as the eye could see, where you could walk for days on end and not reach the ocean. On the little island of Norwich, which is becoming smaller and smaller every day, Zoe and her parents try to live a normal life. Zoe’s dad teaches her to row, something he tells her might come in use one day.

Their small family tries to leave the island on the last supply ship to come from the “mainland,” but in the confusion and melee, Zoe is left behind on Norwich. Time passes and things get more and more desperate for Zoe living on her own, but one miraculous day she finds a boat–more precious than gold and diamonds in her world. She manages to escape Norwich and rows towards where she believes the mainland, and her parents, might be.

However, Zoe ends up on Eel island, a little lump of land even smaller than Norwich. The “eels,” as they call themselves, are a bunch of raggedy kids led by a charismatic boy named Dooby–things are even more savage and uncilivized here, and Zoe despairs of ever finding her parents again…

Sedgwick writes speculatively about the future of the earth after global warming, and its effect on ordinary citizens in the UK. His style is very simplistic and a little eerie, especially concerning the subject manner. This also a re-read, I think I first read it when I was younger, and was going through my apocalyptic, end-of-the-world, doomsday and hellfire reading phase. It’s very short, about a hundred pages.


Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

COVER beside a burning sea by john shorsRating: 7 out of 10
Summary: One moment, the World War Two hospital ship Benevolence is patrolling the South Pacific on a mission of mercy. The next, it’s split in two by a torpedo. A small band of survivors, including an injured Japanese soldier and a young American nurse, makes it to the deserted shore of a nearby island, never expecting the experiences awaiting them…

Akira has suffered five years of bloodshed and horror fighting for the Japanese empire. Now, surrounded by enemies he is supposed to hate, he instead finds solace in their company—and rediscovers his love of poetry. While sharing the mystery and beauty of this passion with Annie, the captivating but troubled woman he rescued, Akira grapples with the pain of his past while helping Annie uncover the promise of her future. Meanwhile, the remaining castaways endure a world not of their making—a world as barbaric as it is beautiful, as hateful as it is loving, as forbidden as it is seductive…

Nation by Terry Pratchett

nation by terry pratchettRating: 7 out of 10
Summary: The sea has taken everything.

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne—a girl from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.

Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne’s sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives—all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. . . .

Commentary: Pratchett has a very distinct style, something you can recognize straighaway even without having read many of his books (I’ve read maybe like 1 or 2 Discworld novels). At times I felt like it didn’t exactly fit with the story of Nation, but it was a good read nevertheless.

I like the world that Pratchett invented, and recognized a lot of the aspects of the island culture of Mau. Good read, several comedic parts, philosophical parts.