Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Nowhere - Jon Robinson

Nowhere by Jon Robinson, published by Puffin on 4th July 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
Alyn, Jes, Ryan and Elsa are Nowhere.
A concrete cube in the middle of a dense forest.
Imprisoned inside are one hundred teenagers from all over the country.
They're all criminals. But none of them remember committing any crimes.
Who has put them there. What do their captors want?
And how will they ever break free...

Nowhere’ by Jon Robinson is the first in an enigmatic and thrilling new YA series.  I hadn’t actually heard a lot about it prior to reading this so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I think that was a good thing because it meant that I was continually taken by surprise in terms of the quality of the plot and the unusual twists and turns that the author incorporated.
The premise for this book is brilliant!  Teenagers put in prison in the middle of nowhere, with no knowledge of why they are there.  This must be everybody’s worst nightmare and that alone was enough to hook me in and get me interested in the characters' plights.   
The story was really puzzling but in a good way.  There were hints and clues as to what was going on but you had to try to connect all the dots yourself.  I still have lots and lots of questions about the reasons why the teenagers were all being held in the prison and why they were made to think that they were guilty of crimes they had not committed.  It would have been nice to have found out a bit more by the end of the book but I guess a lot of the reveals are being saved for later in the series. 
The teens themselves were an interesting bunch.  The book focuses on Alyn, Jes, Ryan and Elsa as they attempt to break out and escape.  I admired their strong will and determination and found myself really rooting for them to succeed.  I would have liked a little more character development throughout the book but flashes of their previous lives are interwoven into the story.      
This is a debut novel by a UK author who is definitely one to watch.  I’m eager to read the follow-up ‘Anywhere’ which I’m hoping will shed light on some of the mysteries that are still unanswered. 

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