Review published on July 28, 2017.
The Change 1: London – Orbital
Solaris 9781781085813 pbk Jul 2017
This is the first in a series of books for young adults which deals with the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. In this novella, Howard, the main character, wakes with amnesia. Not even sure of his name, he ends up with a gang of survivors in a motorway service station, befriended by Hubcap, a boy of similar age. But they’re not the only ones at the Kingdom of the Little Break.
I really enjoyed reading this novella. At 160 pages long, it’s just right for a quick read, and it’s original, enjoyable and humourous. It doesn’t take itself too seriously as a post-apocalyptic novel and there is just the right amount of action. The nature of the disaster and the monsters it brings are slowly revealed, and it’s woven with the personal stories of some of the characters, all of which make for interesting reading.
Guy Adams has packed a lot into this novella and, after reading the first three in the series, I think that this is the strongest both character and plot-wise. The ending suggests that the reader will meet Howard and Hubcap again, and I hope we do, as they are a great pair and very entertaining. It would be very easy to write a cliche-ridden story, but this is very good and I think young adults will enjoy this very much.
The Change 2: New York – The Queen of Coney Island
Solaris 9781781085837 pbk Jul 2017
This is the second book in ‘The Change’ series of novellas by Guy Adams for young adults. Set in New York, the reader accompanies Grace, who’s trying to find her brother. Needing the permission of the queen of Coney Island to travel up-river, she sets out to find her, along with a man with a false beard who claims to be God.
This novella featured slightly more surreal characters than the first book but still has the originality and humour that are present in the first. Once again, the two main characters are very likeable, and Guy Adams brings Coney Island to life, combining both its past and its present and its strange characters.
As with the first, the novella’s ending suggests that there’ll be another encounter with Grace (and God). The author has done an excellent job with their portrayal and their conversation flows, and I think they are a great pair and very entertaining. At 160 pages long, this is another great quick read for young adults which is sure to be a hit.
The Change 3: Paris – A City of Fools
Solaris 9781781085851 pbk Jul 2017
This is the third in the series of novellas by Guy Adams for young adults. In this book, we’re introduced to Loic and his friend Adrien, who live with a group of survivors in the catacombs of Paris. When Adrien is kidnapped by the Impressionists, a group of people made of paint, Loic must venture out to rescue him.
This book had more historical detail than the previous two, and once again Guy Adams packs a lot into a short amount of pages, blending the surreal with the post-apocalyptic horror. However, the main characters aren’t as strongly portrayed as those in the first two novellas, and so for me, this is the weakest book in the series. I didn’t get the same amount of enjoyment from this as from the first two because of the characters, which is a shame because the historical detail in the novella is very interesting.
Overall, I think ‘The Change’ series is going to be a hit with young adults as an original, humourous post-apocalyptic read.