It wasn’t quite what I’d been expecting, this dystopian story by Joanna Nadin. It’s actually quite scary, in more ways than one.
Set in a future that doesn’t feel either all that far off, or terribly unlikely, it can certainly scare us adults. Whether young readers of a similar age to the main character – Alan – who is ten, will read it as ‘merely’ a futuristic adventure, I can’t say.
Albion is a far-right country, getting ready for war with the foreigners of Europe. There are pockets of non-Albion areas, like Caledonia (good old Scotland!) and also No Man’s Land, which is where Alan and his little brother are sent by their Dad, to be safe.
They don’t want to go, and – at first – they don’t like it there. But you get used to things. Just as you will continue longing for that which you miss very much.
Alan knows he’s no hero. He just does his best.
And I will pray that our future looks nothing like this Albion place.