Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Book Review
The UK’s new megacities: contented citizens relieved of the burden of home ownership, living in eco-friendly communities. Total surveillance has all but wiped out criminal activity, and biometric sensor implants detect illness even before symptoms are apparent.
That’s the hype. Scratch the surface, and darker stories emerge.
First there was hope, then came the wasteland, and out of those the megacities grew. A good proportion of the population have been lured into thinking it’s the way to go…but not everyone was taken in. There were those who still chose to live off grid in self sufficient developments scattered across the countryside.
Tara was eight years old when the men came for her mother and step father. She was given a chance, and she took it, eventually ending up in a Hope Village where she met Radar. They became best friends, and made all sorts of plans for the future, until Tara was offered a life she could only dream of, with promises of visits to see Radar. Meanwhile, when he realised Tara wasn’t coming to visit, Radar did what he had to, it was a matter of survival.
The kind man touched my shoulder and beckoned me to follow him into the kitchen. He inched the back door open, grabbed a Coke and a couple of cereal bars off the worktop, shoved them into my little purple backpack, and pushed me out.
I ran, and I didn’t look back.
Despite Aileen and Eric’s determination not to leave their village, as the amenities and services disappeared one by one, there wasn’t much choice. They relocated, even though Aileen was uncomfortable with the idea, and had reservations. She was right to have those feelings and eventually found herself in an untenable position over which she had no control.
As always with Terry Tyler’s books, the characters drive the story and are fully realised and convincing, inviting deep sympathy for the predicaments they find themselves in after believing empty promises of a wonderful future. Those in power are ruthless, corrupt and manipulative beyond words. It’s a sobering thought that leaders could virtually do as they liked, make promises they had no intention of keeping, while introducing a different way of life and new technology, and use it all for their own ends.
Chapters are told from the three main characters’ perspectives, and their thoughts bring them and their individual and devastating challenges even more into focus. The settings, wastelands and megacities, are vividly portrayed, giving an immediate sense of place. Megacities with a regimented, monitored way of life as the government suppressed and controlled.
The chilling plot is well thought through, thought provoking, well written and perfectly paced with twists I wasn’t expecting.
‘As long as some of us are still living free, they have not yet won. Anyone who refuses to live as they want us to has beaten them. That’s how we do it. That’s how we win.’
I chose to read and review Megacity based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.