The Survival Game came into my life via an email from Net-Galley. I am very grateful to the publishers for letting me read an ARC (a very well formatted ARC, too). This completely lived up to my expectations. In fact, it exceeded them. I was so impressed, I wrote the review on the spot – something I very rarely do. It was published this week.
The Survival Game
In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful.
Mhairi Anne Bain owns only two things: a gun with no bullets and her identity papers.
The world is a shell of what it once was. Now, you must prove yourself worthy of existence at every turn, at every border checkpoint. And if you are going to survive, your instincts will become your most valuable weapon. [goodreads (more)]
This is an older MG, younger teen and YA book that every adult should read!
Nicky Singer perfectly captures the likely dilemmas we will be facing as climate change hits us harder, and refugees will not just be fleeing aggressive regimes but aggressive weather conditions.
We follow MAB – Mhairi Bain, as she travels north, making her way through many and dubious ways from the encounter with Saharan border guards where her parents died, to the place she thinks of as home, where her Grandmother still lives – the Isle of Arran. There are plenty of triggers for me on her journey, not least a tour of Glasgow that my blogging friend the Glasgow Gallivanter will find worthy.
The story is gripping and relentless. The voice of Mhairi is clear, concise, and takes you through all the dangerous things in her past that keep recurring into her brain until she consigns them to the Castle to be locked safely away. It’s a great coping mechanism. The voice of the boy she befriends is even clearer – amazingly, because he is mute.
This is a brilliant book, which I recommend to all. Not just because of the dangers, institutional barriers faced, and cruelty of people in charge of inhumane conditions, but also because of the moral dilemmas Mhairi’s Grandmother expounds. We should all do to think on these things, and think deeply.
An immediate addition to my list for Book of the Year.