What an amazing debut novel for Claire Merle. I wasn't expecting much and immediately I'm drawn into the action. There's no slow world building, the reader is hanging on for dear life. The setting is London in the not too distant future. The world has been decimated by both the collapse of the economy and the petrol wars. Borders are closed in almost all countries and London has been set up as city with "communities" surrounding it. In the communities is where civilized "Pures" live safely and luxuriously while all the others fend for themselves in the city. I can't go too much into the story because, like I said, from the beginning it just takes off and you're on a ride! I seriously could NOT put this book down.
I can't really classify this book. It's not a light read. There are a lot of twists, lies and plotting going on that you have to keep track of. The gritty parts might be too "real" for those YA readers 17 and under. But also in here is a story of what love really feels like and what you'll do to have that love. Or what you'll overcome to be the person you want to be. It's also about believing and having faith. But mostly it's just a great ride of a book...
My only gripe about the book was that sometimes the story went a wee bit too fast for me. It was almost like a paragraph or a sentence or two was missing. This was the unedited proof I read from Faber and Faber through NetGalley so maybe it is slightly changed in the final publication.
Oh, and wow... absolutely amazing... I'm talking about some of the reviews I've just seen here about this book. I'm so glad I wait to read reviews until after I read a book. I get a kick out of people who can go on and on about how important their opinion is in relation to a book. Yeah, I get it, you're offended. At least read the book. One thing I will say, derogatory language/slang used in the book shouldn't offend. It is what it is; it's FICTION in a world that doesn't exist. You want to talk derogatory language, look into our history, heck, look at old Bugs Bunny cartoons. And yes, history does repeat itself, whether we want it to or not. I was hardly offended and I will admit that I am clinically diagnosed with 2 of the Big3 discussed in the book, in runs in my family. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it...
I hate drawing attention to those types of reviews but I couldn't let them pass. This book deserves to be read and done with an open mind. A mind that remembers that this is a piece of fiction. Ms. Merle gives a very nice Q&A on her website
that can answer any questions about how she came up with the idea for the story.
Speaking of which, there is a second and final book. Tentatively the book is called The Fall. After the ending of The Glimpse, I need to know when it's coming out!!! Like, as in, it better be coming out VERY SOON!!!
Thank you Faber & Faber/NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this compelling book.