Exciting spirals from a pandemic, Sasha Maclean
24 May 2021
When I first look at this book, the thing that draws me in is the cover: a purple ring with a soaring purple hawk inside it. The purple mist and funky lettering let me know this will be a great sci-fi adventure.
I couldn’t speak, but I was trying so hard to communicate and then… then… I pushed. And something, someone pushed back. Her name is Violet. Violet, but she is sunshine yellow, and I need to find her because I think she might be like me.
After being in a coma from the deadly M-fever, Ethan and Violet wake up to discover that they can dive into other people’s heads and see their thoughts. When they meet, they are happy together; but Ethan and Violet need to be incredibly careful, for they are being hunted.
My favourite character in this novel is Violet Black because she is brave, smart and will not let anyone stop her. When given the chance to change the world and start a revolution, she steps up, in the hope of solving major problems. Even though her father makes an unsuccessful attempt at creating a vaccine and she gets shamed almost everywhere she goes, Violet stays strong and has the most compassion of all the characters in this book.
The rest of the Black Spiral trilogy has me intrigued, because I keep seeing symbols of spirals everywhere, which tie into the title of this series. I am looking forward to seeing the overall plot of this trilogy fold out over the next two books.
This book is a substantial change for Eileen Merriman, well-known New Zealand author of contemporary young adult novels, including Pieces of You and A Trio of Sophies. Excitingly, this book is the first in the Black Spiral trilogy, so if you enjoy this book, there will be more coming! As an avid reader, I always love series, not only because they look fantastic on my bookshelf, but because in them we get to see greater character development and longer plot points. I am looking forward to seeing Violet and the whole cast of other characters change as the series progresses.
Something I enjoyed about this book are the parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists rushing to find a vaccine, people getting worried as case and death numbers climb higher and higher. I remember reading a passage in this book saying that if they didn’t find a cure for the M-fever soon, it would become a pandemic that would make COVID-19 seen like a common cold. This really puts in perspective for me how dangerous their world is.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi or fantasy adventure, a thrilling dystopia or an against-all-odds story; a fast-paced opening to a trilogy or a mystery novel. If you’ve ever dreamed of being recruited by a secret agency, or fighting bad guys, this book is for you. This is a stunning book which I would recommend for readers aged 12-15.
- Sasha Maclean lives in New Plymouth.