Title: Ways of the Doomed
Author: Moira McPartlin
Published: June 18th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Source: eBook from the publisher
Book Blurb (Goodreads):
It’s the year 2089 and everything is altered. The revolutions of the early 21st century have created a world divided – between the Privileged few and the Native (Celtic) underclass. Sorlie is enjoying a typical carefree Privileged teenage life until it is smashed apart by the cruel death of his parents and he is spirited away to live with his ice-cold grandfather at a mysterious island penal colony. Sorlie’s discovery that the captives are being genetically altered to remove all trace of their Native origins triggers a chain of shocking events that reveal his grandfather’s terrible secrets and, ultimately, the truth about himself.
When I first was offered the chance to review the sequel to this book – Wants of the Silent – I hesitated because even though it sounded amazing, I try to avoid reading sequels to books I’ve never read. So, when I was given the eBook for this novel, I was ecstatic and wanted to jump in immediately. I waited though, and actually started reading this book on the train to Edinburgh for the book launch of Wants of the Silent.
The idea of Britain a hundred years from now, partially swallowed and trying to survive through a climate crisis, really intrigued me. There’s different factions – the Land Reclaimists and the Purists – that are battling to take control and push their own agendas for what they think is best for the country. On top of that, the population has been split into Natives and Privileged and it’s pretty much as you’d expect: Natives are the servants to the Privileged, who live in a bubble of supposed safety.
Enter Sorlie. A Privileged boy who’s in for a rude awakening. I’ll admit that Sorlie annoyed me with his constant whining. It made him sound like a little kid and I wanted to slap him every few chapters. When his mother is killed in action and his father runs off to avenge her, Sorlie must leave his life of comfort and enter a world of unknown. His Native, Ishbel, takes him to a prison on an island where his grandfather is the warden.
Perhaps my favourite part of the entire book is when Sorlie is interacting with Scud. I freaking love Scud. He’s a Native prisoner with a sassy mouth and a penchant for saying more than he’s supposed to. He was by far my favourite character and his progression was both fascinating and distressing.
The story is a little slow in places – partly the reason I couldn’t give the book a full five stars – and I found it hard to stay focused and in the world at times, which was really disappointing because I was really enjoying the story. It just slowed down a little too much for my liking.
McPartlin is a master of the ‘just enough’ ending. The loose ends were mostly tied up with a neat little bow but there was still enough tantalising tidbits to get me excited to pick up the sequel straight away.
An excellent read for teens with a warning of what’s to come if we keep ignoring climate change and the effects it’s having on the world we live in. Harrowing yet gripping, when you’re in the action you can’t put this book down.
About the Author
Moira McPartlin is a Scot with Irish roots. Although born in the Scottish Borders, she was brought up in a Fife mining village. She has been writing short stories, articles and poetry for a number of years and has had work published in Northwords Now, Crannog, Countryside Tales, Brittle Star, Giggle, The Scottish Mountaineer and a number of anthologies.
Moira is one of the organizers for Weegie Wednesday, a monthly book industry networking event held in Glasgow and sits on the editorial board of New Voices Press, the publishing arm of the Federation of Writers’ Scotland.
The Incomers, Moira’s debut novel was published by Fledgling Press – March 2012
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads