It's a brave new world. 'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.' So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on to old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie. And if everything we know is a lie does that mean that we are, too?
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This is the story of 15-year-old Kyle Straker, and the events that occurred to make him (in some ways) not exist.
The story is told by Kyle, and is split into 6 parts – the six sides of analogue cassette tapes that Kyle recorded his version of events onto.
Kyle’s story starts at the talent show in his small village in Cambridgeshire, when something goes drastically wrong during a hypnosis act, and the four volunteers all awake to find the rest of the people of the village totally frozen. They try not to panic, and are relieved when after 1 hours everybody starts moving again. Only problem is, the people are not the same people they were before the event, and the people know that Kyle and his 3 fellow volunteers are now not the same as them.
This was an interesting idea, although the book itself seemed to be aimed at a younger teenage audience. The main character was 15, and the writing itself was fairly simple, so I’d say this was probably aimed at teens under 15.
I like dystopians, but this just didn’t quite have the right dystopian feel for me. There was a bit of panic, the story was interesting, but it just wasn’t of the same calibre as other dystopians I’ve read recently. Whether this was because it was aimed at a younger audience I don’t know, maybe it was just that because nobody was trying to kill anybody, it lacked a certain element of danger and suspense. I have to say that this is probably the first dystopian I have read where there is no imminent threat of death from the ‘changed’ masses.
The story was written as a story printed from Kyles story that he has recorded onto old cassette tapes. This was slightly annoying in that at the end of each cassette part of the story is lost where ‘the tape ran out’, and there are also little boxes of information relating to certain things that Kyle says, and certain people’s opinion of what Kyle means at times, which seemed to be trying to be witted, but didn’t succeed.
I also had a couple of issues with the storyline – if the ‘changed’ or 1.0 people took away all the electrical devices, how does Kyle use a cassette recorder? Why don’t the 1.0 people try to get rid of the 0.4 people instead of simply ignoring them? And mainly – seeing as this is written as if it has happened in the past, and the intended audience is supposed to be 1.0 people, why are these 1.0 people not more like us? It just doesn’t quite sit right that in actuality we are much more like the 0.4’s than the 1.0’s, another quirk that just falls a bit flat for me.
Overall; a ‘light’ dystopian, obviously aimed at a younger teen audience.
6.5 out of 10.