Monday, December 28, 2015

Suicide Reviews: Edge (Josh Cumberland #1) by Thomas Blackthorne

Edge (Josh Cumberland, #1) 

Synopsis: Britain, tomorrow. The Tyndall Corporation has sold the country to hell. They've countered escalating knife crime by legalizing dueling and made daily life into a reality TV show. The streets are red with blood. The skies are black with polluted horror. High walls have been built around Britain and endless winter is coming. 

There are only two people who can save us. This is their story.

Date Published: March 1, 2010
Published By: Angry Robot
Number of Pages: 380 
Rating: 3/5

I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. A futuristic dystopian society where knife fighting is legal?Count me in! I was expecting it to be a kind of Hunger Games style book, where the dystopian world was explored through the POV of a professional knife-fighter who has to kill people on live TV. 

That is not what I got. 

This book is about an ex-soldier, Josh Cumberland, who is hired by a rich guy to track down his missing kid, Richard. Richard is 'hoplophobic' which means he's afraid of knives, which is not very helpful if you're living in a society where people can challenge you to a duel at any given moment. He goes missing after his first therapy session with Suzanne, who was hired by Richard's father to rid him of his phobia. Suzanne and Josh team up to find Richard, end up falling in love and then decide to take down the government because they find out that the government is doing illegal, corrupt things. 

So the book wasn't what I was expecting it to be but it was still a pretty interesting read. I thought that the dystopian society was chilling and incredibly believable. In this society, people are monitored 24/7, lightning storms and floods are frequent due to global warming, and people are allowed to kill each other. So it's pretty scary and not at all far-fetched. What I liked was how the author snuck in little details that told you more about the society as a whole. For example, it's mentioned a couple of times that there are food stalls selling bugs to eat, along with regular food. This tells me that insects have become an accepted source of food in this world, most likely due to climate change. There are nutritionists today that say eating insects as an alternative source of protein is looking more and more likely in the near future. Thomas Blackthorne does a really great job of building a realistic future world based on our current society. 

While I loved the world-building, the plot itself left something to be desired. I kind of felt like it was all over the place and didn't have a specific focus. The climax really isn't climactic because it doesn't feel like the book has been building towards it. I think the story might have been more successful if the author had explored just one aspect of his dystopian society in depth, instead of trying to encompass all of it. 

Despite a few quibbles, Edge is an interesting take on the dystopian novel and I am interested enough to check out the sequel. 

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