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Red Rock Paperback – 12 Sep 2013
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'A captivating thriller... All the way through I was categorically gripped and I am confident that anyone else who is around my age (10-14) would be too!' --Hetty, The Guardian Review, 'This book was just awesomeness contained inside 221 pages... Curious Fox once again managed to snap an author that has had writing talent from page 1 of their debut novel.' --Amy, Amy Bookworm blog, 'Full of atmospheric descriptions of a flooded world, this is a real page-turner that moves effortlessly from the wasteland of Greenland to the academia of Cambridge.' --Sue Yockney, Goodreads, 07/12/2013
'Don't miss out on this sensational book!' --Guardian YA Reviewer
'Full of atmospheric descriptions of a flooded world, this is a real page-turner that moves effortlessly from the wasteland of Greenland to the academia of Cambridge.' --Sue Yockney, Goodreads, 07/12/2013
About the Author
Kate Kelly was born in Scotland but grew up in rural Devon. Coming from a long line of seafarers she succumbed to the ocean s call, studying Geology and then Oceanography at University, and pursuing a career as a Marine scientist. But the sea isn t the only thing in her blood and inevitably she was drawn to the written word. Red Rock, a Cli-Fi thriller is her debut novel.
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This meant I was a little nervous coming to Kate Kelly's young adult novel Red Rock, as this is 'cli fi' - fiction based on the world being transformed by climate change, and on the whole that's a pretty disaster-laden scenario. I needn't have worried - although the backdrop is of civilisation crumbling in the face of climate change, the storyline is pure action thriller with plenty of mystery and suspense, which soon distracted me from any concern about the fate of the world.
The main character, Danni, is beset by a host of problems, left on her own (or at least with a stranger) in an attempt to escape capture and understand more about the mysterious object (not unlike the one in the hands on the cover) given to her by her dying aunt. The tension rarely gives up for long - this is one of those excellent stories where the reader accompanies the MC on a race against time and the odds.
If I have any complaint it's an unusual one for me - there is not quite enough description. I felt this particularly when Danni visits both Oxford and Cambridge, cities I am very familiar with, yet I was never given enough to know where she was. Particularly irritating was the way she has find the library of a Cambridge college, but we aren't told which. But any frustration from this is washed away as the action pounds on.
Particularly good for a young adult novel is the way that there is a 'bad' character who turns out to not be all bad. For those familiar with that epic of Australian art, Neighbours (what can I say? my children made me watch it), I've always been rather impressed by the character Paul Robinson, who despite being a long-running baddy is at the same time very caring for those who are close to him, and has moments of genuine thoughtfulness to season the self-centred, grasping ruthlessness. Similarly, Red Rock has a character (I won't give it away by saying who) who betrays a friend but then more than makes up for it.
The other surprise was that I rather liked the climate change backdrop. It is never heavily laid on, but both the sad remains of Cambridge, under water when the tide is in, and the casual decay of coastal towns is beautifully handled. It is never trowelled on, but really gives a feel for the depressing reality of a future where climate change is unchecked.
Overall a book that works both as a good, page-turning thriller and one that makes you think.
Coincidentally, National Geographic have an article in September 2013 edition about the world's rising sea levels, particularly about the increased speed of rise. This book has been cleverly written and really makes you consider how our Island could be affected in the future ( hopefully not in our lifetime).
Very exciting book, great characters and well written, couldn't put it down.