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Book Review

Book Cover

The Capture


Author: Tom Isbell
Publisher: Harper Voyager
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 752822 6
Publication Date: 28 January 2016

In a not too distant dystopian future, young men and women find themselves confined to camps. In the male camp the LT are told that they are being trained for military service. In the female camp twins are investigated and experimented on. Having escaped the camps with a number of the inmates, Book, Hope and Cat have led their small group to relative safety. Unable to forget or live with the knowledge of the true purpose of the camps, the three return once again with the hopeless task of freeing everybody, from both camps...

The Capture (2016. 442 pages) is the second in a trilogy of young adult novels, written by Tom Isbell This book directly follows on from The Prey (2015).

Although their intentions may be honourable, the plan to return and free all the inmates seems foolish in the extreme, given that the rescue party is not only small, but armed only with the most primitive of weapons, bows, slings and spears, against an enemy armed with automatic rifles.

The second novel in any trilogy tends to concentrate on world building and while there is some of this, and the introduction of more factions to endanger and harass our heroes, the real main thrust of the book is to act as an action rollercoaster ride. The addition of new threats helps keep the narrative fresh as the group are essentially retracing their steps from the first novel. Still, that seemed to work well for Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Early deaths causes an outbreak of dissention in the rescue group with a subset going all Lord of the Flies on Hope and Book. Even following the resolution, things never look anything other than bleak. New friends are made along their journey, but this is a world where everything comes at a price and the most benign looking person may be the one to turn you into the authorities.

The book is unlikely to win any literary awards for the writing, but it does provide a good solid adventure.


Charles Packer

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