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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2003
I was sceptical about buying this book at first, i am glad i did because this is a truly amazing story that makes you sit back and think about what global warming could lead to and the atrocity it would be on humankind.
This book is divided into three sections all of which follow the main heroine - Mara in her quest to find a place for her and her family and friends to live.
While her own island is drowning, Mara finds out about new miraculous cities built out of the ocean and into the sky. Her and her family set out in overcrowded fishing boats to find these cities in hope for survival. Things don't go to plan and end up with Mara losing many of her loved ones.
As they arrive in New Mungo (the new city in the sky) Mara and the rest of the people on her island find themselves in a huge boat camp of refugees wanting to get into the city. With the risk of being taken as slaves into the city, dying of starvation or being shot by the sea police, Mara manages to escape and into the Netherworld of the city.
It is from here that she meets Treenesters who are human but have adapted to live in trees away from the sea. Mara is befriended by these and it is here where she finds out about potential land in Greenland.
It is when her two best friends - Gorbels and Wing are taken as slaves by the sea plice that mara decides to get into the New world in the disguise as a police officer to save them and help aid with her plan to get to Greenland along with the Treenesters and other refugees.
It is here where she meets David aka Fox and they both fall in love and it is with his help that Mara can carry through her plan. Mara and David cannot stay together though...
This is a truly amazing story which is intertwined with fantasy and areas that could most certainly happen to earth if something isn't done now.
The characters are truly lovely characters and so believable.
I recommend this book 100%
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on 2 October 2002
Having bought this book as a gift, I read it first to check its suitability (content, level of maturity etc). How glad I am!
This is a fabulous book - I cannot rate it highly enough. It proved impossible to put down and gripped from start to finish.
The story is beautifully written, enthralling and inspiring. It contains a number of important issues that are bang up to date, set in a futuristic context, such as the type of world/society we are building, refugees, the ways in which humans treat each other and above all a hope for the future. It was thought-provoking and challenging, whilst telling a cracking good story.
If you have children of 12 years upwards, I would recommend it. If not, buy it for yourself!
I cannot wait to read more from this author.
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on 21 September 2002
This book was recommended to me by my 12 year old daughter who insisted that I should read it. To keep her happy, I picked up the book - and couldn't put it down!
The author cleverly draws you into the story of Mara and her life in a world where the sea has risen dramatically and the future is bleak unless someone takes control. Once into the story, it is hard to shake off the feeling that all that is unfolding before you REALLY could happen unless everyone takes action to save our environment - not just a caring few.
I think that this book is an excellent way to bring home the issues of global warming and deforest-ation to older children. If only every child was made to read this book, then maybe the future of the planet would be in safer hands.
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on 23 November 2002
I read this book in under a day and in that day it completely took over my thoughts. I kept thinking I wonder what will happen to her. All my friends told me to shut up.
It is about a girl called Mara. It is set in the future when global warming is at its best. Her island, Wing Island, has been flooded and is almost drowned. All her friends and family say that there is no chance and that they will surely drown. She discovers that land does exist despite her community's believe that it does not. She leaves her island and sets of on an intriguing journey of discoverey and bravery. She meets many different people and eventually falls in love.
It is a mind blowing story and I am completely in love with it. Please read it just to experience the same rush of emotion for Mara that I did, and do.
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on 26 November 2003
This is a great book. It is based on a world in the future which has been drastically affected by global warming. Mara - the main character, lives on an island that is drowning but none of the inhabitants want to face up to the fact that the floods will not stop and that they will either have to leave or die. Mara finds out about the 'new world' These ar elike islands but are raised up off of the ground and close to the sky to escape flooding. She finds this out by searching cyberspace - a bit like the internet I would suppose. And she finds a Fox who tells her that he lives on a new world called 'New Mungo'. Eventually she manages to pursuade her island to leave and head there which tehy do but in the journey her family die. When she gets there she manages to sneak in with the help of her new urchin friend 'Wing' named after her lost island. She manages to get into the actual new mungo but finds that it wasn't what she had expected and she doesn't like it and plans to take the refugees to a new land that she has found. She manages tofind Fox and they fall in love. But even together will they be able to pull it off and will Mara be able to leave Fox?
This is a brilliant book. It really makes you think about the problem of Global warming and what affact it will have on the planet. It is a tale of Love, Loss, Adventure and Mystery. A brilliant read for anyone who is 12 and up!
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on 3 November 2004
I was seduced by the short extract on the jacket and bought this book, not realising it was aimed at a teenage market. I am very pro Scottish fiction (and sci-fi) and carried on reading anyway.
The introduction of the book is mesmerising. I was dazzled by the idea of our first ancestors looking at the ground and calling it "Ur", which evolved over millennia into "Earth". This scene-setting still gives me goosebumps.
Likewise, the early part of the book works well. We meet Mara's family, her island which is slowly drowning, and learn a bit about her. The description of the extreme weather is chilling, and I particularly like the scene where she enters the drowned phone box (this scene is printed on the jacket). When she and a few hardy others leave the island in a small flotilla, however, the book loses its focus somewhat, and I found the descriptions of New Mungo irritating and distracting.
There is a symbolic theme underlying the narrative which is quite compelling. I did enjoy trying to spot the references to Glasgow as I went along, although I am certain that I missed a few. I am oddly uncomfortable with the use of place names for personal names (although I find Clayslaps as good a baby name as any I have ever heard).
For an adult, this book is a curate's egg, with several good features and powerful images. It borrows from other fiction with similar features, notably "Waterworld". Some points don't stand up to scrutiny, however, such as the fact that many parts of Glasgow are above the water when the rest of the surrounding terrain (including many mountains such as Ben Nevis) is drowned. I found some sequences of the narrative seemed contrived, and some parts were just a little weird.
The book describes one possible effect of global climate change without preaching, and for this alone it deserves great commendation: I hope our kids will take the point.
Ultimately, however, I left this book feeling a little disappointed, with a vague sense of anticlimax. According to her website, Julie Bertagna has been deluged with requests for a sequel, and is currently writing one (she certainly left plenty of loose threads to tie up). Unfortunately, I regret I won't be buying it.
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on 20 March 2011
This book was originally published in 2002. Macmillan have re-issued it in 2011 with a brand new cover design.

'Exodus' takes a giant leap into the future and is set in 2099 at a time when global warming has wreaked havoc on the planet and the melting of the polar icecaps has led to mass flooding and destruction. The story begins on the island of Wing which is in danger of being engulfed by the rising sea level. When the situation worsens the residents of the island have to set out to seek new land and a new life.

The story is told through the eyes of Mara who has never known a life beyond the one her and her family have led on Wing. One night when she is wizzing through the Weave (which seems to be a version of the web), she stumbles across a Fox who shows her evidence that the mythical Sky Cities really do exist. She convinces the other islanders to leave their homes behind but what they find may not be the safe haven they were hoping for.

Julie Bertagna has written a fast-paced story which is both immensely enjoyable as well as educational. A serious ecological and environmental message is conveyed throughout and provides a warning about the sustainability of the earth and how we look after the planet. This is done in a way which doesn't come across as being too preachy but actually makes you stop and think about some of the issues which are raised.

I found the plot totally absorbing. It really kicks into gear in the middle section of the book where the islanders arrive on the outskirts of New Mungo. The nightmare which faces them is both horrifying and shocking and I ended up turning the pages faster and faster as the story progressed, right up until the climatic finale.

Mara is a great central character. She's intelligent and brave and a born leader and she has a well-honed sense of survival which stands her in good stead for some of the situations she has to face. She has to make tough decisions at times and find a strength within her which she never thought she had. Her friendship with Fox develops near the latter part of the book and he is a bright spot for her in an otherwise bleak world. I found some of the scenes between the two of them heartrending but also hopeful. I like the fact that even amidst the devastation around them, they manage to find each other and each inspire something in the other.

The predictions made in 'Exodus' about the future are terrifying and appalling and the themes and issues are extremely thought-provoking. I thought that the story was full of suspense and action and was fantastically imaginative and inventive.
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on 3 July 2004
this is a brilliant book.
it's all about a girl called Mara. her island (Wing) is drowning due to global warming. shes convinced theres a 'new world' out there somewhere. she finds fox when she falls out of the 'Weave' and he tells her hes from 'new mungo'. she persuades her island to journey to this 'new mungo'. some dont make it and some that do blame her for the deaths of the others. she gets out of the refugee camp, thanks to the help of her new friend wing, who she named after her island. she gets into New Mungo and meets Fox in person and they fall in love. she hates this new world and asks him to help her.
it's all about adventure, love, loss and discovery.
its interesting to know one of the possibilitys that could happen in the future if we dont stop whats going on. it would have been nice for it to have a sequel and see what happens to them all.
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on 19 May 2016
I picked this book up in a ship's library when I was on a cruise. It looked interesting and indeed it was. So much so that I could hardly bear to put it down. It was wonderful to read on the days when we were at sea and I found myself totally absorbed, especially as I was at sea, totally surrounded by water as far as the eye could see so it was easy to feel myself with Mara in her adventures. I was intrigued by the account of the drowned city under the city; it turned out to be Glasgow and obviously the author had an intimate knowledge of that city.

A very unusual story and when it ended I wanted to read more, although this book works as a 'stand alone' too. So much so that I came home and bought the next two books for my kindle.
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on 29 September 2002
A gripping and intense plot, with belivable and endearing characters, was my introduction to Julie Bertagna. I loved the quirky witing style that made it oh, so real, and the vivid description of The New World. Very, very well written!
But most of all, I like the way she plays upon our fear of the future. All her points are valid. Massive global warming creating huge waves that swamp all life is a not-to-far off possibility, unless we learn our lesson and start caring...
I'm definitely reading more!
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