4.0 out of 5 stars
London, 2032..., 27 Jan 2012
The disaster novel is a well-established form in British speculative fiction, and many authors have tried to imagine the consequences of the upheavals resulting from alien invasions, wars, climatic change, and numerous other likely or unlikely events. In recent years it has fallen out of fashion somewhat, but, with 20 Years Later, E J Newman has presented us with her contribution to its revival.
While many such stories deal with the onset and immediate aftermath of the disaster, in this case, as the title suggests, the action takes place some time afterwards, when the worst is over and a new status quo seems to have been reached.
In 2012 It happened, leaving few survivors and a world littered with the bones of the dead. By 2032 some degree of stability has returned, and London is ruled by gangs such as the Bloomsbury Boys, the Gardners, and the Red Lady's Hunters. When a giant enters the territory of these gangs, and is seen by one of the children who are the central characters of the novel, a chain of events that will have far-reaching consequences is set in motion.
I can't say more without revealing too much of the plot, but, as readers of Emma Newman's short story collection From Dark Places will already know, she writes gripping stories, and this one is no exception. The London of 2032 is a frightening and mysterious place, and she has only revealed some of its secrets here; there are many questions that will remain unanswered until we can read the second and third books in this series, something that I'm looking forward to with a considerable degree of anticipation.
20 Years Later is Emma Newman's first novel, and it's an impressive debut which I can recommend without hesitation.