'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 2 February 2018

Review: The List

If you love dystopian tales, you HAVE to read The List by Patricia Forde. Gripping, powerful and action-packed, you won't be able to put it down. And when you do finish it, you won’t be able to get it out of your head.

Set in a future world where global warming has destroyed most of the Earth, the last survivors live in (or around) a small township run by a man who foresaw the inevitable and made preparations. 

But to live within the safety of John Noa’s sanctuary, you must follow his rules. And one of these rules is that you must speak List. 

A language with far less words than existed in the past, the purpose of List is to control the new society and prevent them from making the same mistakes as their ancestors. 

There are no words for love or hope or creativity or rebellion. And the new world has no art or dancing or singing or music. There is only what is needed to survive and protect the world from further damage. And the punishments for disobeying the rules are harsh.

Letta is the Wordsmith’s apprentice. She writes the words people are allowed to use. But when the Wordsmith goes missing, and the Desecrators — the believers in art and words— are the only ones who will help her, Letta begins to question everything she’s been raised to believe.

This novel is enthralling. It makes you think about what language is, what it means and how important it is to what makes humans human. It also shines an important spotlight on our relationship with the land and our use of resources. It sparks thought about what the essentials of life truly are and the materialistic nature of man.

If you love speculative fiction and dystopian worlds, this one is a must-read! It fits snuggly into the definition of middle fiction, but, honestly, it transcends age. Young or old, if this is the type of story you like to read, you will love this addictive novel.

Schools, too, should take a good look at this one. It would be an amazing book for students to read, study and discuss, particularly with regards to language and what language means to society. 

Patricia Forde is a master of words. With beautiful, evocative language used throughout, this is the kind of story you want to read with a highlighter in hand to mark the stunning descriptions and inspiring phrases (scandalous, I know). 

I cannot find mention of a sequel anywhere, but the book is left with so many possibilities for the story to continue, so I will cling to the hope that there is still more to come.

Title: The List
Author: Patricia Forde
Publisher: Affirm Press, $16.99
Publication Date: 30 January 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925584738
For ages: 12+
Type: Middle Fiction