2040I was really looking forward to reading this book, the cover looked fantastic, and it was sold to me as:

Imagine a world where there are no birds singing. There are no warm-blooded creatures at all and few people – the human population has been decimated. The First World Error has seen to that. That world is Downside, a dystopian parallel universe which split from Upside in 1990.

It sounded great. I’m sorry to say it isn’t. I’m halfway through it and I’ve just stopped. I’m bored. I struggled with his writing style, and i’m not a fan of footnotes (which there are many). I stuck with it even though I didn’t have much of a clue what was going on – I thought I’d pick it up eventually – maybe it was flipping back and forward in time? The upside/downside thing was fine, I got that bit – and I really like the concept of the POPS (machinery that keeps tabs on people).

However, i’m 40% through the book now, and despite having read this book without a break (I’m pretty immobile at the moment), i’ve kind of lost the plot. I don’t really know who’s doing what and why. It’s not helped that it is full of conversations that ramble on about irrelevant things. It reminds me of old 1970’s tv programmes, with two old people just sitting on a bench or walking down a street having a ramble on whilst on their way somewhere, as a filler….it’s not needed in a book – chatting on about a princess who became a model, and slavery and the British Indea Steam Navigation Co has absolutely no relevance to the story at all. Is the author just trying to show off his general knowledge?

When I started skipping whole paragraphs in order to try to get back to the story then I realised he had just lost me, and there was no point continuing. If nothing has happened in the first 40% of the book, then what’s going to happen in the rest – i’m almost halfway through. I don’t even know why the upsiders want to go to the downside!

Sorry – this wasn’t for me…

Thank you to Book Guild Publishing for sending me this book to review (honestly) via Netgalley. Image from Amazon.