Julie Bertagna must think I’m a wimp. She got worried when I hauled out her books to be signed last week, as she already knew how many Neil Gaiman books were nestling in my rucksack. But I can manage a lot of books if I have to. At least the laptop hadn’t come along for the ride, so it felt quite luxuriosly empty, once I’d ditched the croissants.
OK, to the point. I have just read Julie’s Zenith, which she got an award for the other week. That’s the second in the series, after Exodus, and last week it felt quite appropriate, because the characters in Zenith were freezing cold, and I was not feeling like toast either.
The refugees have left the world where they weren’t wanted, and are heading north, hoping to find that there is land still in Greenland. There’s plenty of deprivation, and Julie doesn’t hesitate to kill people. She continues to show the reader what the future may well be like if we don’t mend our ways. Now, or preferably yesterday.
All is not gloom, however, because Julie knows what fun you can have with the familiar things around us. This time it’s that fried chicken company which gets a new meaning, and I loved her use of motorway signs.
I’m looking forward to the third book. Stop reading this, Julie, and write some more now. The coffee break is over.