A wonderful, surprisingly delicate story about a teenager making her way home to Scotland in a world remade by climate change (aimed at YA readers but, like all good children's books, good for adults too) (Lucy Mangan i Weekend)
A haunting novel, beautifully written that will stay with you long after the last page (WRD Magazine)
extraordinary novel (The Letterpress Project)
Recent news about the treatment of refugee children makes this a particularly pertinent read. Singer's gripping and provocative book poses big ethical questions, and has an ending likely to polarise readers. (Fiona Noble The Observer)
Set in an another bleak, all-too-imaginable near future, Nicky Singer's The Survival Game (Hodder) follows 14-year-old Mhairi as she returns to her birthplace on the Isle of Arran, with an empty gun, her identity papers and a mute five-year-old in tow. In a world of hard borders, coldly allocated resources, truncated lifespans and judicial murder, traumatic loss has already robbed Mhairi of much of her humanity - has she enough left to keep her soul alive? Singer's bitter, demanding book is shot through with piercingly bright, unforgettable images. (The Guardian)
In this gripping near-future story, Nicky Singer tackles two urgent contemporary issues - global warming and mass migration. Desperate people are moving north, and Scotland is the new destination of dreams. Resilient 14-year-old Mhairi Bain is on her way to the Isle of Arran where her grandmother lives. Travelling alone, she has witnessed horrors that include the deaths of both parents. Tough but not heartless, she has taken pity on a mute African boy on the way.
The chapters are short and tense, written in a boiled-down style. As a way of dealing with her trauma, Mhairi has created 'Castle', a mental fortress in which to conceal bad memories. It's a neat narrative device. The pair face many obstacles, dangers and border crossings, dramatizing the plight of the migrant in a world, compellingly evoked here, that is both oddly familiar and yet horrifyingly changed.(The Financial Times)
In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful.