Monday, 6 January 2014

Invent-10n by Rod Rees - a review

The year is 2030 and there are cameras everywhere. It is a bleak Britain with everyone (well, almost everyone ) being observed and controlled by the Government. There is very little oil, gas, heating, lighting etc - all in all, a pretty miserable place.

The Government is wanting to send all the "Gees" (Russian refugees) back to where they came from but things change when Ivan Nitko ( one of the 'gees') is found to have a new power source (the invent-10n of the title). Sebastian Davenport, a low level Government worker is sent to Scarborough to meet Nitko and try and get the details of Invent-10n but they haven't counted on Nitko's new PR person, Jennifer Moreau, who is as anti-government as there is.

The story is told from the point of view of both Sebastian and Jennifer (but as her alter-ego Jenni Fur). Their parts of the book are written in the style of blog posts or diary entries and along with these there are also newsletters, magazine/newspaper type articles that help to explain what is happening in the world. These sections also give clarity to the terms used to describe the people and places of 2030 Britain.

The two main characters are very different but also similar in ways. Sebastian works for the Government while Jenni Fur hates them and everything they stand for but maybe Views will change along the way (you don't really think I'm going to tell you do you?).

For me the strongpoint of this book is Rod Rees' gift for characterisation. While Sebastian comes across as a bit meek and mild Jenni Fur is totally in your face.  She talks in a hep style of years ago and throws in other bits of slang and at first I thought this could be a bit of a bind but it is so well written that it feels natural and within a few pages you barely notice that it's slang.

For me Jenni Fur is one of the best female leads out there today.

One other thing to think about while you are reading this book - there are cameras everywhere, watching your every move. You are constantly being told what you can or can't say and do......maybe Rod Rees' vision of 2030 isn't all that far away.

A cracking and well presented book - 5 stars