Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The UnTied Kingdom - Kate Johnson

Eve is a has-been celebrity who was in a girl band, now starring in a reality television show, when she falls through a hole or portal in the world, and when she comes to, she finds herself in an England very different from the one she left behind. Here, the country is under military control and is at war with Coalitionist fighters. Everyday things are no longer available – telephones are scarce and only owned by the very rich, hardly anything is known about computers, and even more frighteningly for Eve, history as she knows it has been rewritten – there was no British Empire, and England is not a major power in the world, in fact it is a much more primitive place.

Eve is found by Major Will Harker, and ends up under his wing. Those around her initially view Eve with suspicion. What are all these things that she speaks of, which to them sound so peculiar, or are completely unknown? Is she a spy or an alien? How do they deal with this woman who is evidently so unfamiliar with their world, and how does she try and comprehend them when everything seems the same and yet totally different – is she mad, is this a parallel universe? Harker has his own problems, with Sholt, the man he despises, looking to get promoted, and now his boss wants him to run a mission to find a computer, using Eve to help him and his team, since she knows all about them, whereas to Harker and his crew, they are totally unknown. 

This is an appealing romance novel with a twist – a clever concept that makes it an original, exciting, and dramatic read too! I love the premise behind this book and I like the clever title. It’s intriguing and if you can suspend disbelief, it really makes you think about how life could be very different. Eve makes for a clever, spirited heroine who takes a full part in the adventure, and we feel how unsettled she is to find that the London, the England she knows, its history and culture has all changed. Why doesn’t anyone recognize the songs she sings to them? Harker is a strong, formidable man, a loyal and proud leader, but he has a soft, sensitive side which is revealed to the reader, as, despite the internal conflicts regarding who she is and where she has come from, his romantic feelings for Eve develop. There is an interesting supporting cast of characters including Harker's ex-wife and her sister, who he takes under his wing. There is so much more to this read than romance, it is also very much an adventure story, a wartime drama, with a paranormal/fantasy element, all of which the author has cleverly combined.  


Published in the UK by ChocLit and available now.

Find out more about the author here and more about ChocLit here.

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