Thursday, 29 September 2016

Omnia by Laura Gallego

Omnia by Laura Gallego

First published under the same title in Spain in Spanish by Random House Espanol in 2016. English translation by Jordi Castells published by AmazonCrossing in 2016.

This book is one of my WorldReads from Spain.

One of my Top Ten Books of 2016.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Where else but Omnia would a boy go looking to replace a one-of-a-kind stuffed bunny that happens to be his baby sister’s favorite toy? Scrolling through the online retailer’s extensive inventory, Nico finds what looks like a perfect match, but the item is lost somewhere in the vast Omnia warehouse. He doesn’t believe it, so he stows away in a shipment being returned to the warehouse to search for the bunny himself.
Nico quickly gets stranded on the island of Omnia, a fantastical place that does much more than sell everyday items. It is a hub for a business with intergalactic reach, and while stray visitors to Omnia are welcomed warmly, they are not permitted to leave, ever.
The adventure of a lifetime awaits Nico as he searches for the beloved toy and tries to find a way to return home.

Omnia has an intriguing synopsis and I chose it also for its retro cover art by Chelsea Wirtz and because its translator is Jordi Castells who I thought did a superb job with Pierced By The Sun by Laura Esquivel which I read last month. I am glad to say this concise novel didn't disappoint. It is a quick read which I devoured in a single sitting over a few hours, thoroughly enjoying every minute. Nico knows he shouldn't really have thrown out his baby sister's beloved toy rabbit and his guilt is endearing, but the sacrifice he ends up making to redeem himself is way more than he could ever have imagined.

Gallego's Omnia is, on later reflection, a disconcertingly real vision of our future and the irony of this translation being published by Amazon either shows that they do have a sense of humour or that the powers-that-be didn't actually read the book before signing it up! I loved the idea of boys hiding out for months within a warehouse where everything is available for the taking, albeit several hours walk away and you have to know exactly where to look, and the Hotel California vibe makes for a wonderfully menacing atmosphere. Extensive automation causing job reduction certainly reflects the trends I see around me as well as the first-world notion that anything is just a click away if you have the credit to buy it. Omnia is an excellent novel that is superficially an easy read, but with thought-provoking layers that I think will make it a popular choice for book clubs.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Laura Gallego / Science fiction / Books from Spain

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