Friday, April 4, 2014

The Detainee by Peter Liney

"Big Guy" Clancy knows that things are bad. As society declined and debt increased, people looked to those with less means as being responsible for it all: the sick, the elderly, the poor... The Island is their home now. An awful place no better than a literal trash heap, Big Guy and the others like him make do the best they can. Escape is impossible - the punishment satellites are almost always watching - and on those foggy nights when the satellites are out of order, the only hope is to hunker down and hope the other group on the island, the bad and unmanageable ones, don't find you. But one night Big Guy makes a shocking discovery, a woman who lives below the surface. A woman who offers him hope and love in a place where he thought neither could exist.

Peter Liney's The Detainee is futuristic/dystopian that kind of brought to mind Escape From New York setting wise. Here you have the outcasts of society (only slightly different from the prison of Escape) who have been forced to build lives for themselves in the worst of circumstances. There are factions - the Village and the Camp. The haves and the government are conveniently separated and protected from this life as long as they have the means not to be sent there themselves. That's kind of where the similarities end but I'm sure you can see why it brought the movie to mind.

Anywho, I liked Clancy. He's definitely something different, especially compared to a lot of the leads in dystopia lately: an aging heavy who has all but given up given his predicament, until something (or someone as the case is here) inspires him to change. His pal Jimmy, the tech wizard, and Lena, the girl, as well as the other characters we meet are all pretty well fleshed out with backstories and development a plenty - even for the first in a trilogy and a not too hefty read.

The scary thing - and probably what I liked best about the book - is how real it felt and how easy it was to believe (and imagine) that society could get to such a state. There's enough explanation of the circumstances behind the establishment of the Island that I had no problem slipping into this reality and - as I said - believing that it was possible. And again, that's quite scary!

The Detainee is the first in a projected trilogy.

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooh. I have this one. Bumping it up the list.