'Floodworld' by Tom Huddleston is a riveting, high octane thriller with cinematic scope. Thought provoking and with important messages about climate change and politics, this is a vital and timely book for children.
Kara and Joe live in a flooded future London, in the poverty stricken Shanties. When an accident involving an encounter with a rebellious Mariner brings Joe into possession of a mysterious map, his and Kara's lives are plunged into chaos. Everyone seems to want to get hold of it. Who can they trust? Together they will confront police, gangsters and pirates in their floating world of submarines, cities and walls. Can they turn the tides and begin to change the world?
The imaginative depth and scope of 'Floodworld' is truly immense. This is 'Waterworld' meets 'Blade Runner' meets 'Stars Wars' in the best way possible. A lot reminded me of Phillip Reeve's 'Mortal Engines' - instead of deserts we have oceans and floating colonies of people in conflict with each other. Dark and light is blurred; throughout the story we are never sure who to trust. This is uneasy and challenging, and provokes the best sort of questions about how people relate, how climate change will alter our society and ethics, and how children's lives will be transformed forever. There are many layers to Huddleston's uniquely realized world, and some readers may find it overly complex. But this is a good thing: the next generation need books like this to challenge their preconceptions on the environment, democracy and poverty.
Kara and Joe are brilliant characters to guide us through. Like many children's books today, Kara is strong and Joe more vulnerable. They make an interesting pairing: Greta Thunberg and a young Tom Daley on an epic adventure! The peril is huge and the antagonists are like Bond villains on steroids. I'm really looking forward to the sequel next year and seeing more about this frightening future world.
A rip-roaring thriller that provokes challenging discussions about our world, 'Floodworld' is an exciting and necessary read. Thank you to Nosy Crow for my copy to review.