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

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Review: Glimpse

If you are looking for a brilliant, fast-paced and riveting read, here it is! Drawn from the catastrophic earthquakes of 2010 – 2012, in the city of Otautahi Christchurch, it reflects on people’s resilience, endurance, and sense of community.

But there are always those who see stricken populations as easy prey and a path to money and power. It is upon this premise that this powerful story is built.

Abandoned by City Hall, the people of the demolition zone – D-zone, have been left to their own resources and struggles.

After seven years of earthquakes, the rubble of the Plaza has become a meeting place for Jonah, the most gifted glimpser, and his best friend Bas. Tattoos of the fault lines on the side of their face, are evidence of their life and loss.

Glimpsing - being able to see a forthcoming earthquake, is a gift owned by many people of the zone. GlimpseCorp has made a name for itself with its Glimpse Show, where people with the gift are encouraged for a fee, to share their lives and abilities for entertainment.

When PANN – People for a New Nation, led by the charismatic Phaedra and her brother Damon arrive in the area, initially, they seem to offer hope to the hopeless who have been crippled by lack of interest from the powerful.

Mesmerising and manipulative, Phaedra is a persuader who has no boundaries. People part with their money willingly under her promise of a new world and the return of a life they lost long ago. 

Holograms of people’s deceased loved ones are used to brainwash, persuade, then subtly threaten to propel her power-play. Punishment for disobedience or revolt is the withdrawal of their family’s images.

Generous in complex themes, the brilliant prose leads the reader through issues of detention camps, illegal migrants, gang warfare and specifically, strength and survival.

This is the best book I’ve read this year and I long to go to go in search of Jane Higgins’ previous publications, The Bridge and Havoc.

Title: Glimpse
Author: Jane Higgins
Publisher: Text Publishing, $19.99
Publication Date: 2 May 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781922330598
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction