I’ll make a sexist remark here. Sophie McKenzie’s Blood Ties is the kind of book I’d expect to have been written by a man. Not that women can’t write this sort of thing; but they tend not to. I’ve tried to think of a similar novel written by a female author, but am not getting anywhere. No doubt you will be able to correct me.
It’s very good, and I’m not in the slightest surprised that Sophie keeps winning awards. It’s got almost everything – action and adventure, romance, sci-fi and normal teen life – so my prediction is that Sophie may have to put up with travelling round the country to pick up prizes. Other writers may want to look into having her banned. (Only joking!)
Genetic engineering is the background to the story about Theo and Rachel. They don’t know each other, until they suddenly find themselves in the middle of genetic engineering terrorism. Their lives go from almost normal to seriously strange and full of danger and action.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Theo’s and Rachel’s points of view, so you get to see how they both see the same series of events.
I’m very pleased to find a book with a slightly fat and unpopular heroine, although in true fiction style Rachel improves herself surprisingly fast.
The only thing I found difficult to take in, is why people would be quite so terrifyingly organised against genetic engineering. Some of the attacks are reminiscent of anti-abortion groups, except these people take things a lot further. And I’m not sure why.
Blood Ties is a great, fast paced read, and probably better geared towards girl readers than some other action style fiction, while still being right for boy readers.