Thursday 27 September 2018


Title: We See Everything
Author: William Sutcliffe
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Release Date: 9th August 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Lex lives on The Strip – the overcrowded, closed-off, bombed-out shell of London. He’s used to the watchful enemy drones that buzz in the air above him. 

Alan’s talent as a gamer has landed him the job of his dreams. At a military base in a secret location, he is about to start work as a drone pilot. 

These two young men will never meet, but their lives are destined to collide. Because Alan has just been assigned a high-profile target. Alan knows him only as #K622. But Lex calls him Dad.


I fancied reading something from a dystopian genre and found this book set in a divided post-apocalyptic London. When you think about all the security cameras in our present society, this really makes the blurb of this book not such a fantastical idea. I mean camera’s watching your every move, monitoring everything you do, who you speak to, where you do your shopping, what you buy etc.

I have seen two different covers for this book so far. I have pictured them both below and commented on each cover, it would be interesting to see who prefers which one. Both of the covers feature an eye prominently on them.
The palest cover is in a cream colour and everything within the eye is orange as if the sky is on fire! There is also a figure caught within the eye on what seems to be a background of ruined buildings. There is also an aircraft of some sort in the orange sky. All of this makes perfect sense when you read the book.
The other cover which I initially said I preferred has the main colour of orange, and is more simplistic to the other cover and seems to make more of the eye symbol. The cover still features the eye and the person within it being watched.
After reading the book, I do like both covers. I think they are both eye catching and would stand out on a bookstore shelf well. Though I should admit after reading the book my favourite cover is the one with the white background. It represents the book and its contents down to the little details featured on the cover.
The genres I have seen listed for this book are Sci-Fi, Literary fiction, Teens, YA and Dystopian which all fit well. I would also add that it has post-apocalyptic elements too.

The city is a very dangerous place to live and the government have divided London. On one side there is Lex whose dad is suddenly becoming more important to the rebels who are planning some sort of revolt. Lex being trained as a messenger for The Corp. His job is to deliver messages from one Corp member to another, he doesn’t ask questions and he has to quick on his feet. He must learn all about different routes to take to throw those who are watching off his trail. and he should never ask questions about the messages. Messengers should not speak about the messages they deliver, or whom they deliver them rom and to. They are also not supposed to speak to other messengers. Though in one part of the book, an older, more experienced messenger talks to Lex and gives him tips to make money by selling contraband goods. It’s whilst selling these goods, which happen to be highly sought after cigarettes that Lex meets Zoe whom he feels immediately drawn to. Zoe is working on the patch Lex begins to sell his cigarettes. It’s a busy section of road, with traffic lights, so when vehicles stop the “vendors” literally pounce attempting to sell various items to them. From the cigarettes Lex sells, to Zoe’s Lollipops, there is even a guy washing windscreens trying to make some money to live on. Lex should have permission for the man who runs this patch but because he is a Messenger for The Corp, so to an extent he is “untouchable” and so permitted to sell wherever he wishes.

On the other side of London and “life” is Alan who works at The Base. He operates the drones. Alan still lives at home with his mother who doesn’t seem to approve of where he works anymore. His mother doesn’t want her son operating a drone, observing people. When she learns that he has been promoted and chosen to control an armed drone she begs him to stay at home, to not go to work, to change his job. However, Alan is all caught up in the camaraderie within the Base. He also has his eyes set on a female he has seen at the base who he would like to impress. You can safely say that Alan is somewhat carried away with the importance of his job and hasn’t really thought through that whenever he presses that button he will kill real people, its not just a video game, or a boring people watching, observation job. He may press that button and could not only kill his target, there could be collateral damage and deaths. Alan becomes quite attached to the man’s family whom he has been watching and reporting on. Alan knows the man whom he only refers to as a number in his reports is a member of The Corp, who wish to revolt against the government. It is part of Alan’s job to gather evidence of where the rebel meetings are held, as well as how the individual rebels communicate with each other. Alan accepts that he may be the one who presses the button and kills the man, but he hasn’t fully thought out the fact that when he is ordered to press the button that delivers the bomb that kills the man he may also be killing this man’s family whom he has become so attached to. This man has a son, who looks around Alan’s age, he also has a wife and daughter. Can Alan press the button that launches
the bomb that will kill them and anyone around them too?

I enjoyed looking at the two differing views on the same city and what life is like for both Lex and Alan. Lex and Alan may be working for opposing sides but as you read more about them you are surprised to learn they have a lot of similarities such as inexperience and lack of confidence with girls. They both have jobs where they have to do as they are instructed no question asked. They perform duties without questioning, or knowing why or what the end result is and how it will affect everyone.
At one point in the book Lex has to choose whether to listen to his father and stay close to home or to keep his date with Zoe. His decision over what you may think is a trivial choice ends up drastically changing what could/should have been.

I really liked both of the main characters, although Lex and Alan are on opposing sides of this “war” I feel in a different setting they could possibly have been very good friends. Both Lex and Alan are, in my opinion victims of circumstance and of which side of the divided London they live on.

At the end of the book there is an “after the event” catch up with the characters which I found quite interesting and enjoyed reading. I loved that this was a story of one place, London. It is a London divided and as the reader we hear the two sides to the story and the divided London through Lex and Alan.

I felt the book was a little stilted in places but perhaps it was meant to be that way. The book was certainly thought provoking and had me making possible similarities between the book and the possibilities of this actually occurring in our present day. I suppose I am trying to say this book is eerily realistic fiction!

Which cover do you prefer?

Thursday 6 September 2018


Title: Dark Retreat
Series: EMP Lodge
Author: Grace Hamilton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Outdoors & Nature,Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Release Date: 1st September 2001

BLURB from Goodreads
Three months after life as she knows it was decimated, Megan Wolford has only one goal: protect her daughter, Caitlin, at any cost. When a mysterious illness strikes Caitlin down, Megan is forced to forage for medical supplies at a remote lodge. The last thing she wants is help from her fellow survivors when so many in her life have let her down—but soon she'll find herself with no other option. 

Ex-Navy SEAL Wyatt Morris is doing everything he can to hold his family together after the tragic death of his prepper Dad, so when Megan enters their lands, he is mistrustful at first despite feeling drawn to her. He won't turn away an ill child though--no matter how deadly the world has become. But the arrival of another stranger named Kyle soon gives them all a new reason to be suspicious. Wyatt knows he’ll have to forge alliances in order to keep his family safe, but trusting the wrong person could be a deadly mistake. 

When Megan and Wyatt discover her daughter’s illness may be linked to Kyle’s arrival, it sets off a race to discover the truth before it’s too late to save Caitlin—and the rest of the Morris clan. Can they work together for survival . . . and something more?

Amazon UK


I had been reading a lot of newly released/about to be released titles and decided it was about time I read something that had been released for some time. 
I was also in the mood for something Post Apocalyptic and really loved the sound of this one.

The cover certainly gives a bleak impression of the world the two females are living in. It also makes you want to know more about them and the lodge/cabin they are facing. Is it a place of safety or are they heading into danger? Only one way to find out, I think this book is a good choice for me after looking at the cover and the blurb certainly clinches it for me, its a must read book for me!

The genres I have seen listed or this book are as listed above, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Outdoors & Nature and Post Apocalyptic which are all great descriptors and clues to what the book contains. The only other genre I would possibly add is Survival though I guess that should/could fall under Post-Apocalyptic. I was a little unsure I would class this as outdoor & nature as I would think a book given that genre would be a purely factual one, but on the other there are a lot of tips on survival, such as herb knowledge, snaring & trapping and security etc included within this book which could be applied in the real world we live in.

Solar flares are fairly common, though the ones that plunge the world right back into the dark ages were really massive ones. There had been some warnings given out, though Megan hadn't heard o seen any of them. The only reason Megan learns anything about these warnings is when she goes out to the local store to pick up her usual bread and milk and finds that the store shelves are completely empty!

Caitlin is usually a very bubbly, full of energy child but suddenly within just 24 hours she has become a weak and lifeless. Megan knows she needs to find help for her daughter and fast. Megan realises she can't be walking the city streets that are now full of looters. Poor Megan finds herself in an awful predicament, she desperately needs to find something or someone to help Caitlin. She cannot be seen on the streets looking weak herself with Cailtin as that would make her more of a target to have what little they have stolen or taken from her by force. Yet it certainly isn't safe to leave Caitlin alone whilst she searches for help. Eventually Megan realises she has to move when everything is quieter, less people about and hopefully less threats to their safety around.  So as Megan is struggling to carry her young daughter, Caitlin she is looking for shelter, food and some sort medical help. A Lodge style cabin catches her eye in the distance. Though she worries if she can trudge that far whilst still holding her daughter. The sight of the cabin gives her renewed energy to push on despite the pain and lethargy she is feeling. She wonders if the Lodge is empty, or maybe it will have people with some knowledge to help her with her increasingly sick daughter Caitlin. Megan briefly puts Caitlin down by a nearby tree whilst she checks out the cabin. When Megan discovers the cabin doesn't appear to be in current use she relaxes somewhat and put Caitlin on one of the beds and decides to just rest awhile then start foraging for food and further supplies that may be of use to them. However she is so tired she falls asleep curled round her daughter.

It's there that Wyatt Morris and his clan of survivors find her. Naturally its a shock for both Megan and the Morris Clan when they meet. There's lots of distrust on both sides. Albert makes his feelings crystal clear he doesn't like Megan and Caitlin and he doesn't want them here any longer than is absolutely necessary. 

The Morris clan have survived by working together and not trusting outsiders. So it with quite a leap of faith when they accept Megan and her sick daughter Caitlin. The head of the clan is Rosie, she is the one with the knowledge of old remedies and herbs and there uses, her eldest son Wyatt immediately asks her to take a look at the ill Caitlin.

It is Rosie head of the Morris clan that takes control of the situation and immediately sets to work to find something within her known family remedies and herbal knowledge to help the youngster.

Once the furore has settled it is decided that Megan and Caitlin should stay until Caitlin is well enough to walk again. Megan makes it clear she doesn't want charity and she is more than willing to join in the hunting, trapping, cleaning and meal making or whatever is necessary. Though Caitlin isn't getting any worse she isn't getting any better either. Megan has agreed to stay but is always planning on where she will go and what she wants for her and Caitlin in the future. Wyatt would be much happier if Megan would just agreed to stay with them permanently. Wyatt is attracted to Megan and really hopes she will stay with them. 

Everyone falls into some sort of routine until Kyle Grice appears, claiming to be a vet. Normally Wyatt would just speak to him and then part ways. It's the fact the man claims he has some sort of medical knowledge that makes Wyatt invite him to stay for the night. Once again Albert immediately distrusts Kyle saying there is something not right about him. When Chase also voices his concerns about the newcomer Wyatt makes sure they keep a closer eye on him.

 Great world building. Real survival knowledge within, brilliant instantly and easily adorable characters. The detailed descriptions of surroundings was really good too. They helped you visualise what was in the 

I loved hating the bad guy Kyle Grice, he really is an awful man who will stop at nothing to get to the top of the pile, therefore being in authority and having others do his dirty work. At the moment he is on the rough climb to the position at the top that he so desires. He doesn't care whom he hurts or kills on his way either.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that it was a great read! Definitely eager to read much more of this series. Already grown fond and become attached to lots of the characters within the book.

I ended up totally adoring the characters in this book, so looking forward to reading more. I certainly have high expectations for the rest of the series after reading book one! This book and it's brilliant characters made me think of the great series called The End Of All Things by Lissa Bryan which I loved.