Ann Halam's breakthrough novel. Gripping writing from a high calibre author. Emotional intensity combined with rich story telling to make a commercial, compulsive read. Author is winner of prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award. Film interest. 'This moving and strange story is convincingly and vividly imagined' Sunday Times 'breathtaking adventure ... a lean, effective and moving book. I loved it and admired the clarity of thought and the elegance of its delivery.' Gaye Hicyilmaz, TES 'totally absorbing, thought-provoking novel' Dinah Hall, Sunday Telegraph Film rights optioned.
Ann Halam is the penname of Gwyneth Jones, who also writes science fiction and fantasy for adults. She was born and raised in Manchester, and after graduating from Sussex University spent some years travelling throughout South East Asia. She now lives in Brighton with her husband and son, but spends as much time as she can heading off on adventurous travels.
Gr 7 Up-In a dystopian (though vaguely familiar) wilderness called Siberia, young Rosita and her mother live in a camp as political prisoners. By day, Rosita's mother makes nails, but secretly at night, she performs her "magic" of creating and harvesting animal life with a Lindquist kit. When Rosita excels at the prison school, she is sent away to board at New Dawn School. She is quickly disenchanted, tricked into betraying her mother and sending her to die, and becomes "Sloe," helping to run a stolen-goods ring in the school. When Sloe is expelled, she returns home long enough to steal the Lindquist kit and then makes a break for the enlightened city several hundred miles to the north where her mother told her she would find safety. Halam intertwines issues of ecology, climate change, and nature conservancy with more personal themes of loneliness, identity, and trust. Sloe's experiences are far-fetched, akin to Dr. Franklin's Island (2002) and Taylor Five (2004, both Random), but underneath their bizarre nature lies the believable character of a 14-year-old girl struggling with a daunting responsibility that she doesn't understand. The bitterly cold setting, the hunger, and fear are almost palpable. The initially slow pace picks up about halfway through and hurtles readers toward an uncertain but satisfying conclusion. Halam also publishes fantasy and science fiction for adults under the name Gwyneth Jones.-Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
'Ann Halam writes magnificently with a book that is part future, part now and possibly part then too; part fantasy, part realism and totally gripping.' * SCHOOL LIBRARIAN *