22 July 2009

Pastworld; Ian Beck

Pastworld Pastworld by Ian Beck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The publisher''s rep told me that this book was akin to Un Lun Dun and Neverwhere - wrong. It's more like England, England with a Truman Show twist (or, perhaps more accurately, Running Out of Time).

Set in the mid-21st century, Pastworld is a replica of Victorian Era London. "Gawkers" come to experience the fog, pickpocketing, fashion and life of that time. Our heroine, Eve, has grown up in Pastworld (she thinks) with her nearly blind guardian, Jack. Jack protects her, keeping her indoors and away from most people. One day, Eve escapes.

What follows is a police investigation into the Fantom's (a Ripper-alike character) killings, Eve's disappearance, the murder of Jack and the hunt for Caleb, a Gawker accused of murder. To give this a sense of familiarity, the Chief Inspecter is named Lestrade; the phrase "the game's afoot!" is used. And, of course, where there's an Eve, there's sure to be an Adam.

While well-written, there were no real surprises here for me. Younger readers may enjoy it more.

(Free ARC provided by publisher)

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