I am delighted to share my review today for A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby. This is a fabulous read and one that fans of dystopian are going to enjoy.
My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour.
The City is governed by the grim law of profit and loss. No exceptions, no place for compassion, pleasure, the warmth of friendship or the ardour of love. David, an Enforcer committed to the Law, meets Sarah, a villager from outside, and begins to understand that a different, more joyful, life is possible.
A Kinder City tells the story of their tangled relationship and of how they fall in love, and their struggle against Franklin, the richest man in Market World. If the only law is the market, why not sell everything – and that includes the air we breathe, the land we stand on, the water we drink? No exceptions. His giant factories spew forth the road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth. Not content with cloning animals, he traps horses in exoskeletons and works them to death. Torn between her growing passion for David and her revulsion at the City that he is pledged to protect, Sarah turns her back on him.
In despair, he confronts one of the convoys supplying Franklin’s mills and releases the horses trapped within the giant trucks. Pursued by terrifying security guards they escape to the Broken Lands and witness at first-hand the desolation that results from ruthless strip-mining and industrial farming driven purely by greed and the misery of the remaining villagers. In their struggle to survive and return to the City they discover the power of their love for each other. Sarah challenges Franklin to his face and, helped by David, sparks off a rebellion among the poor of the City. Together they defeat Franklin. He must learn what it means to be destitute and alone in Market World. The possibility of building a kinder City lies within their grasp.
This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I really enjoyed A Kinder City. It is a dystopian novel that had a very good message behind it.
David is an Enforcer for Market World, a company that has been set up for the benefit of people. It is supposed to be a fair system where everything has a price and no bartering, swapping or donations are acceptable. Transactions are via a wristband, the equivalent of a smartwatch. Your wristband is your account, therefore you are your account. David lives and works in the city, everything is regulated, ruled and runs on time.
When he meets Sarah, a villager he attempts to show her how good the city is. She is very different to him, and while she sees what the city has to offer she knows what is happening outside the city. An eye-opener for David and he starts to see that Market World and the man who runs it, Franklin, are not quite the be-all and end-all.
I really enjoyed this book, so much so that it became a one-sitting read for me. It is a dystopian style thriller and one that did also feel like a Young Adult read as well. Very addictive reading!
The landscape that the author built up showed a contrast between a city where things run smoothly, but behind the facade, something more sinister is lurking. Some are aware of this, but not all. In some respects, this is a political thriller as Franklin wants his dream and his vision to encompass everywhere and everything. His policies do not take into account the impact he is having on the environment and the people outside the city. He produces machines that pollute and destroy but give the greatest profits. Sounds a little familiar doesn’t it?
Having to weave various threads, the author has created a world that shows the difference between working for profit and gain against working with and for nature. This is something that is very relevant in today’s world and I think this is what really works so well for this book.
I really enjoyed the various threads in this story, a chance to discover the truth for David, political wranglings, the hope that Franklin can be stopped and that there is a possibility that all could fall down and even more hardships are incurred by those who do not live or work by the cities rules.
I really think this is a book that would appeal to many readers. It has the political intrigue of business against people, there is a thriller element and environmental issues. A tense story that I adored and I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Taylor-Gooby is a sociologist. He has published widely and made many TV and radio appearances. His novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. He has worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. He loves walking, cycling, writing and talking to his children.
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