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

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Review: Shatter City

Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld, is the sequel to Impostors (review here), and you really should make sure you read book one before you start on number two.

The series (two more books are still to be published) is set in the same universe as the Uglies quartet. And for those reading along with knowledge of the quartet, you'll discover some specific connections.

In some moments I don't know what to say about the story, and in others I want to say so much I don't know where to start, and have to remind myself to be careful not to reveal any spoilers.

Shatter City begins not long after Impostors ends.

Frey, who was born to protect her identical twin sister, Rafi, is thrust into new and unnerving situations as the rebels rise in defence of cities that are not Frey's home of Shreve.

Finding herself in the city of Paz, Frey is confronted with more evidence of her father's treachery, and by the concept of the 'feels' Paz's residents have surgically embedded in their arms; it's an experience that finds her struggling to understand her own emotions, which she's long had to control and hide.

Frey is searching for herself, her real self, hidden beneath the Frey created by her father as the imposter for her sister.

Then there is the unsettling Diego, being separated from Col, and the sense that there's something not quite right. All this as she tries to locate her sister, and remove and destroy her father, who is bent on occupation, and recovering control of his missing daughters, or so it seems.

From moments of quiet and contemplation, the story amps up into blistering action and then back again, several times.

By the time I reached the final chapters of  Shatter City, I thought I knew what was about to be revealed, then suddenly realised the truth, and it was rather shocking, as are the possible implications. And then it was followed by another revelation as the final pages set the scene for book three.

The world that the characters inhabit is a wild mix of the primitive and futuristic; and it takes elements of our society today, pushing them to extremes, imagining what could happen if ...

I think these books are must-reads for just about anyone. They are full of action and twists that you won't see coming. And they have a lot to say, if you look closely. As someone who usually doesn't read scifi, I'm bemused by how fascinated I am with these stories.

I cannot recommend Shatter City and its predecessors enough. Suitable for teenage or adult readers, they will entertain, and they are certain to make you think.

Title: Shatter City (Impostors book 2)
Author: Scott Westerfeld 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN:  9781760528256
For ages: 13+
Type: Young adult fiction