Monday, 5 July 2010

Book Review: Pastworld by Ian Beck

To Eve, a lifelong resident of PASTWORLD, horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps are modern technology. Eve doesn't even know she's living in a simulation- until she is forced to flee the only home she's ever known, and to confront the truth about her city and herself.
To Caleb, a tourist visiting PASTWORLD, the theme park is the perfect antidote to the stifling conformity and regulations of 2048. Until he finds himself at the scene of a murder, holding the knife, and suddenly becomes a fugitive from an antiquated justice system.
And in the midst of it all, a dark and deadly figure prowls, claiming victim after victim. He's the Fantom, a creature both of the past and of the future, in whose dark purpose Caleb and Eve will find their destinies combined.
I was completely intrigued by the above blurb when this book arrived in the post. I was worried that I would find Pastworld too far fetched but after starting and finishing it in one day, I have to say that I think it is a fantastic book that will will appeal to young adults but I am sure to many adult readers also.
It's such a good idea and PASTWORLD, the Victorian simulation created by the Buckland Corporation is entirely believable. I thought it was very clever to have residents such as Eve who thought her world was entirely real juxtaposed with the character of Jago who she befriends; he has to explain how everything is simulated, right down to the sky which is in fact a large dome with projected images.
The Fantom is a terrifying creation, if anything, the more we learn about him, the scarier he becomes. We slowly discover how Eve and the Fantom are linked, what on earth does this kind, caring girl and a brutal murderer have in common?
I love anything to do with the Victorian era and Ian Beck describes the Victorian London simulation perfectly. He talks of the fog, the stench, the poverty, the death, the Fagan like characters and you can picture all that he describes in your mind.
Pastworld is one of my favourite Young Adult books that I have read so far this year. As I said, I started and finished this book in one day, once I had started I couldn't put it down so obviously I would very much reccommend it.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book to review, it is published today. If you would like to see a trailer for the book then just click here.

12 comments:

Ayesha said...

this sounds great, i may just add this to the ever growing wish list *sigh* for the love of books hehe

great review xx

The Blog

Dot said...

Ayesha- You can never have too many!!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

What a great review! This boevl really intrigues me now. I don't really read many futuristic novels, but the Victoria era? Love it. I will most probably put this on my wishlist.

Dot said...

Irena- hope that you enjoy it if you add it to your list!!

Charlie said...

This sounds kind of Truman Show-like! I'm not keen on the cover, it'd get looked over by me in a shop, but the blurb sounds promising and if you liked it then that's good reason to read it!

Dot said...

Charlie- It was ever so good, my cover was different but I couldn't find a picture online.

prophecygirl said...

Great review Dot. I loved this one! It's so different to anything else I've read.

I see you're reading The Passage.. hope you're enjoying it! :)

Dot said...

prophecygirl- Thanks I thought it was great too, such a brilliant idea! I am making some headway with The Passage, it's the longest book ever!!

theliterarylollipop said...

This sounds really intriguing! I love mysteries. It's nice to see that YA has really exploded in the last few years; the ideas are really creative.

Dot said...

theliterarylollipop- I'm so glad that I have started reading YA fiction again, there's so many brilliant books out there!

Ëarwen said...

Hey! I ran across your blog because, ironicaly, I was searching for a cover image of Pastworld to add to my OWN review of the book! ^_^
I was curious - would you mind telling me how one could trade reviews for books with Bloomsbury? I couldn't find anything about it on their site.
~ Ëarwen

Dot said...

Earwen- Hi Earwen, to be honest I actually don't know, they approached me to review some of their adult books at first and then the publicity manager from the young adult section asked me to review some of those books as well. It seems to be a bit of a domino effect really, I was asked by one publisher and then others seemed to follow on from that. I do have a Twitter account linked to my blog so I don't know if that has had any effect.

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