Wye by Jack Croxall – blog tour

Hello peeps! It’s my turn on the blog tour organised by book blog queen Liz Wilkins for Jack Croxall’s much anticipated new YA dystopian novel, Wye. In the coming weeks, Jack will be visiting again to answer some of my dastardly questions (he clearly didn’t learn his lesson last time) but for today I’m going to share my thoughts on the novel and give you some info on where to get your hands on a copy.

In Wye, Jack takes the traditional zombie tale and turns it on its head. The wonderful thing about Wye is that the twist is hiding in plain sight, and you don’t see it coming until it’s already snuck up on you; you’re simply left scratching your head, wondering at its brilliance.

Set in a landscape we now know well, everyone in the world has succumbed to a deadly virus that strips them of not only their lives, but any shred of humanity they might have possessed beforehand, and leaves them as a lumbering, slobbering, blood-thirsty freak. So far, so traditional zombie tale, but if you think you know where it’s going, think again. Few have survived, and for teenage girl – codenamed Wye – there is only her and a ragged band of friends picked up on the road, and her chances of survival, as we are told straight away by means of her journal, are very slim indeed. It feels as though we are reading the dying words of the young girl already and this sense of inevitability is what provides much of the tension. There is a monster… or is there? There is violence… or is there? There is genuine fear for the main character delivered through some brilliant unreliable narration. It’s hard to know what’s real, but this is what makes the story so gripping.Wye Cover Small

Wye is a satisfying, tension-filled read with a flawed but ultimately sympathetic main character. You might find yourself appalled by the actions she takes, but in the end, would you do any differently? It was a book that I couldn’t get out of my head for some time afterwards, and I can’t help but love the very new approach it takes to the traditional apocalypse/zombie/dystopian fare that has been in vogue for some time now; it’s like a breath of fresh air. There’s a literary bent to it too, so if you prefer your reads with a little more existential substance, then you won’t be disappointed by that aspect either.

So…. what are you waiting for? You can find Wye on Amazon and you can find out more about Jack on his website. While you’re at it, why not look him up on Twitter?

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D is for Dystopia

The Oxford dictionary says that dystopia is:  an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The opposite of Utopia.

That sounds like a perfect place to set a novel.  And it seems lots of other people agree too.  I’ve been reading blog posts and reports for a couple of years now about how agents and publishers are sick of getting dystopian novels landing on their desks.  Since The Hunger Games, we’ve gone dystopia crazy.

I hate to burst that bubble, guys, but we’ve been dystopia crazy for years.  Think The Time Machine (it’s in there, honest), think  Nineteen Eighty-Four, think Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid’s Tale.1984

We’ve always loved dysptopia.  And from what people tell me whenever I mention that I’ve written a dystopian novel, we’re still hungry for more.   Of all the upcoming books I’ve publicised, Runners is the one that has caused the most excitement.  Yet the niggling doubt is still there that nobody will be interested when the book comes out.  What if the blogs and reports are right?  What if we’ve all moved on to magical flying monkeys or vampiric were-donkeys?  Then I guess I’ll just climb back into my box and spend my days reading it to myself.  I can at least pretend that I made it to the party, right?

Like Harry Hill says (it’s an English thing, stick with me) there’s only one way to find out…