Tuesday 24 November 2009

Sharp North by Patrick Cave

Pages - 421.
Published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster.
Challenges - Fall Into Reading.
This book had been on my TBR list for ages, after I chose it as one of my Friday Finds at the beginning of the year. I was lucky enough to find it in the library in the YA section and picked it up quick. It is quite a big and bulky book, so it did take me a little while to actually read it.
The story revolves around a teenage girl called Mira, who lives a quiet and secluded life in a remote Scottish village. She is happy with her life until she witnesses a stranger running through the woods, who is shot and killed. The body is quickly removed and all that is left of her is a crumpled piece of paper. On this crumbled piece of paper, Mira discovers a list of names, which includes her own name as well as the name of her good friend Gil, who is apparently her 'watcher'. Mira is shocked by what she finds and becomes very suspicious of the whole village. Filled with lots of questions, Mira embarks on a dangerous journey to find out the truth.
The first fifty pages of this book were really a drag. The story got off to such a slow start that I really toyed with the idea of abandoning the book. Then the story took a different turn and I was completely hooked. The description for the book really doesn't give any indication of what the book is really about. It is only as I got past the first fifty pages, that I realised what the book was really about.
The reality of this book lies within human cloning and the future destruction of Earth as we know it, due to global warming. You begin to realise that the book is set in the future, but there is no indication beforehand. It was like reading a prophecy of the future, that is completely possible if we continue with the route that science and global warming is presently taking.
The book became fast paced as the story progressed and I became completely gripped in Mira's quest for the truth. When she discovered the truth, I was more gobsmacked than Mira's character appeared to be. I was completely shocked by the twists and turns that occurred in this book.
I loved Mira. She was an unbelievably strong character for someone so young. You would think that coming from a secluded little village, she would not be able to achieve all that she does, until you realise that her genes have been genetically modified and she is the best of the few who have survived.
I really enjoyed this book, once I got into it. I would suggest struggling through the first fifty odd pages, where you will swiftly move onto a completely different story. I found the story fast paced and original and I look forward to reading the second book in the series 'Blown Away'.


  1. Huh. I've seen this book around, but had no idea it was YA and no idea what it was about. It sounds interesting. It's on my list of books to look for at the library!

  2. I've never heard of this one but it does sound good. I'll be looking out for it :)

  3. What a wonderful front cover, so sparse and simple, quite beautiful.
    I'm glad you eventually got into it after what sounds like a rather dire first 50 pages, it's so easy to give up on a book when the first few chapters, 50/100 pages don't capture the imagination.

  4. Vivi what a captivating review. I'm adding it to my wishlist right now!!

  5. Oh one of those gotta struggle through at first, well at least I would know it make it through

  6. Wow, this sounds fascinating! Very similar to Never Let Me Go. And a perfect winter read, based on the setting. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. I'm glad you stuck with it! The cover makes it look like an intense read.

  8. Clover - if you get it, bear with it.

    Carmen - you would enjoy it.

    Petty Witter - the cover is beautiful isn't it. The cover caught my attention first.

    Christina - thankyou.

    Blodeuedd - a real struggle to begin with, but worth it in the end.

    Aarti - I haven't hear fo Never Let Me Go, I shall have to look it up.

    Bermudaonion - it wasn't too intense, but worth the read.

  9. Wow! You almost missed a great book. I loved your review and anytime I see the word gobsmacked, I know its a definite book to read. I'll have to write this one down. Thanks

  10. I love good dystopian fiction. I'm definitely interested in this book. I hadn't heard of it prior to reading your review, so I'm glad I stopped by today. :)

  11. I like the premise of the story, Viv, and Mira sounds like a strong character. I'm glad you decided to continue with it and then found you loved it. I will put this into my wish list.

  12. Oh yes, Viv, I forgot to let you know. Here's my email address again: teh(dot)alice(at)gmail(dot)com

    Hope to hear from you soon. I'll mail the book to you this weekend. :)

  13. I'm really glad it got better, because you had me at "Scottish village" :P

  14. I'm pretty sure this one is on my wishlist. I'm glad I'm now prepared for a slow start but if I perservere it will be so worth it. Thanks for a great review!

  15. I definitely want to read this book. I love books like this that speculate the things that could happen in the future. I hadn't heard of this book so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  16. Hi all, Patrick's just had a website setup (www.patrickcave.com)

    It contains all info on him plus a blog which you can all comment on and/or ask Patrick questions.

    See you there!


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