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Bloodtide Hardcover – 21 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press; 1st edition (21 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862648335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862648336
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3.7 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 969,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The publishers of Bloodtide use the words compelling, gripping and dramatic to describe Melvin Burgess's follow-up novel to the controversial and prize-winning Junk. To this description you must add visionary, violent, brutal and bloody to fully appreciate the depth and complexity of this new offering for only the most mature young readers.

Set in a frighteningly realistic ravaged London in the near future, Burgess uses the Icelandic Volsunga saga as inspiration for his plot. Two warring families of ganglords appear united by the marriage of Signy Volson to Conor--head of the opposing family. However, Conor's treachery results not in the long-expected truce but the decimation of the Volson family. Only Signy and her hideously disfigured brother Siggy survive the culling, kept apart by circumstance but united in their hate for Conor. They are intent on revenge--no matter how long it takes--or at what cost.

Burgess has delivered a book of two halves.

The first is a taut, psychological challenge between brother and sister. As Conor consolidates his hold over the capital, Siggy slowly regains his energy, his identity and will to live. Signy, crippled and imprisoned, with only a shape-changing cat for company, spends her teenage youth playing mindgames with the new King of London, preparing for the moment when she might strike a blow for the oppressed population and the memory of her family. It's gripping, gutsy, bloody and purposeful. The shifting viewpoints offer real insight into these two battered minds and all those they infect with their plight.

The second half of the novel is long and ambitious. The vast timescale means that some events are skipped over very quickly and the payoff takes a long time to arrive.

Bloodtide is a long book, nearly 400 pages, and it is doubtful whether or not it is a children's book at all--the characters, settings, colourful language and plots are adult in almost every way. But the book is undeniably addictive, and difficult to give up once it pulls you in. It's a worthy addition to Burgess' short catalogue of fine novels. (Age 12 and over) --John McLay

Review

"An epic tale of treachery, deceit, sex, torture, violence, revenge and retribution." (Independent on Sunday)

"Bloodtide and Bloodsong make The Hunger Games and its clones seem like drippy entertainments for bed-wetters and pillow-huggers." (Anthony McGowan, Guardian)

"A scary but compelling view of a possible world to come." (Kids Out)

"A story to curdle the blood and capture the imagination. . .(Burgess) has a fantastic imagination and draws out adolescent strong emotions very effectively." (Kit Spring Observer)

"As mythology collides with sci-fi, you're dragged into a world of treachery and double-dealing as savage and bloody as that in any gangland saga." (Daily Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I started reading it thinking it was another tale about families at war, a bit like Romeo and Juliet. Then I got ten pages in and realised that Bloodtide was nothing like that at all and found it impossible to put down.
The story of the Volsons and Connors is an addictive one. When Val Volson agrees for his daughter, Signy to be the bride to Connor as part of a treaty. He believes his dreams are finally starting to happen. Signy is reluctant at first to do anything with Connor her natural enemy but as she spends more time with him she sees there is ,more to this man. Siggy- Signy's twim brother- though is still not convinced. He sees Connor as evil and heartless, certainly not someone you can trust.
Then on the Volsons first visit to Signy and her new husband Connor, things go terribly wrong and nothing is ever the same again for the Volsons.
This is a must read, from beggining to end you will not be able to put it down. I loved how Melvin Burgess made two twins who started off in almost an identical life grow up in two different ones.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Booksthatmatter on 2 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
I've not previously read Melvin Burgess - I don't really know why. I've certainly read a lot about him and admire a children's writer who puts so many difficult and gritty issues into the headlines. Perhaps I didn't read him before because I was worried that he would be too issue-driven. Any way, finally, I've read one of his titles....
Bloodtide is utterly terrifyingly addictively readable and not a little shocking. I take my hat off repeatedly but also am somewhat mazed by the idea that any writer (even one as unflinching as Burgess clearly is) should think of the bloody and despoiling Icelandic sagas and find in them the inspiration for a children's book. Well - Burgess did and more power to him - as it springboards him into the most breathtaking showpiece. Bloodtide pecks vulture-like at almost every element of human emotion and gnaws wolf-hound style at the moral dimensions thrown onto the book's exceptionally violent battle ground. As you'd expect of a post-apocalyptic saga blood lust, ambition, greed, lies lay much of humanity to waste. A certain frisson is added by a bit of matricide here, some incest there, cloning, genetic engineering, oh you name it - but also some ill-fated trust and love.
Burgess plays with his characters - some mutant by dint of scientific tinkering, others mutated by simple human inhumanity - in an appropriately god-like fashion. And he plays his readers expertly too.
In short: I was gripped, sickened and exhilerated by bloodtide and think Burgess to be one of the most impressive writers I've encountered this year. I am positively jealous of his skill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By angharad_tretio@lycos.co.uk on 19 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is stunning, a mixture of love and hate, beauty and disgust. Melvin Burgess is posibly THE most exciting author I have ever read anything by. I read this book on a barnicle encrusted rock on the beach in Pembrokeshire and I nearly read it as I was walking back over the cliffs to the car but my parents said it would be dangerous! I read alot and I have found that many books aimed at people of around 13-16 (my age) are boring and tend to be about boys and makeup and short skirts, but Bloodtide is amazing. It has an extreemly exciting storyline and the setting is very clever, only Melvin Burgess could think up London in the future as being like that! I musn't give too much of the story away but there is a very clever twist right at the end that no one could of guessed! I am a huge Slipknot, Korn fan ect. which just proves I like exciting things, things that go BANG! (If you see what I mean!)And this book does that, fulled to the brim of halfmen, human sacrifices, pagan gods, war and a hatefilled marriage along with a baby born with two twins as its mother and father! Perhaps I have already given too much away so very sorry if I have! This is definatly a book not for the faint hearted or the easily shocked! But anyone else I would definatly recomend it.
Oh yeah and does anyone know why there is only 4 toes on the foot on the front cover? I've been trying to figure it out for ages!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AnnaMaria on 3 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
'Bloodtide' by Melvin Burgess is unlike any book I have ever read. Set in a ruined London, in the future, where love is non-existent and a gory battle rages on between two ganglords until the very last page. The powerful characters are pitiless, ruthless and will not spare anyone, not even their family. No man or beast can come between them and their ambitions. The extreme murder and massacre and the notorious man-made creatures called 'halfmen' are described in such an off-hand manner that they become entirely plausible. Most of the story is related from the point of view of the various individuals involved to give a fuller and more detailed picture of what is happening.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Johannesen (andyj@chocaholic.co.uk) on 17 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Every teenager alive should read this book along with Junk and Lady. The 'Burgess trilogy'(as i like to call it) is amazing. Mr Melvin may have a very twisted view on life but the way he conveys drugs, violence and sex in these three books is amazingly convincing; but at the same time he carefully tackles the three issues which all teenagers are faced with but don't know how to react to. AND ITS WELL HUMORED!!WELL DONE. Im keeping my eyes open for Bloodtide II!!!
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