Thursday, 28 May 2020

Wasteland by Terry Tyler


Wasteland (Operation Galton #2) by Terry Tyler
Published in the UK on the 22nd April 2020.

A Book with Vegetarian Characters and included in my Vegan Bookshop.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"Those who escape 'the system' are left to survive outside society.  The fortunate find places in off-grid communities; the others disappear into the wasteland."

The year: 2061. In the new UK megacities, the government watches every move you make.  Speech is no longer free—an 'offensive' word reaching the wrong ear means a social demerit and a hefty fine.  One too many demerits?  Job loss and eviction, with free transport to your nearest community for the homeless: the Hope Villages. 

Rae Farrer is the ultimate megacity girl - tech-loving, hard-working, law-abiding and content - until a shocking discovery about her birth forces her to question every aspect of life in UK Megacity 12.

On the other side of the supposedly safe megacity walls, a few wastelanders suspect that their freedom cannot last forever...

Wasteland is the stand-alone sequel to 'Hope', the concluding book in the two-part Operation Galton series, and Terry Tyler's twenty-first publication.

Regular visitors to my blog might remember that Hope, the brilliant first Operation Galton novel, was my Book Of The Month for January this year so I went into reading Wasteland with both high expectations for this sequel and a little trepidation in case it didn't hit the same lofty heights. I needn't have worried! Wasteland is just as exciting and I loved that Terry Tyler has plenty more social insights and prophecies up her sleeves to drive the story forward.

Wasteland is set just over three decades after Hope so, for the younger population at least, the drastic social changes experienced by their parents and grandparents are already losing relevance. Being told about other ways of living is no substitute for actually seeing it and the Megacity generation are unwittingly trapped within their own self-centered bubbles, too concerned with social standing and keeping up with their peers to realise that very little of what they strive for is actually worth the struggle.They are ruled by fear of failing, the horror of being shipped off to a Hope Village (places of last resort) being this society's bogeyman, yet willingly allow their every move to be monitored by apps and social media feeds, implants and holier-than-thou 'friends'.

I found this Megacity 'ideal' to be so suffocating that I was very pleased when we readers were allowed to escape to the Wasteland, a lawless and derelict place to be sure but one where the drop-out inhabitants believe themselves beyond the UK government's reach. Thanks to Tyler's vivid imagination, I could clearly envisage these degrading towns and villages. Almost entirely abandoned decades before and left to rot, the concept was familiar to me from rural villages we frequently see in France and Spain where the younger generations have moved to bigger towns for work, leaving their family homes empty, unwanted and, usually, unsaleable when the old folks die. There it has been a gradual process whereas, in Wasteland's history, it was fast, but the end result is the same. Like Rae I harbour romanticised notions of true Wasteland life so I could completely understand her desire to get herself out there and explore. Especially once Ace appears on the scene. I might just have a few romanticised notions there too!

Wasteland does follow on from Hope by linear timeline, but I think the two books could work well read in either order. For me, these are Wake Up novels which show a potential and utterly plausible path for the UK over the next few decades, one which would be practically irreversible once it started. I am particularly impressed with how Tyler has woven together logical extensions of present-day trends with instances of historical totalitarian actions to create a convincing worldview, then mixed in strongly motivated and believable characters, and also given us a compelling story to boot. If Wasteland isn't at the top of your TBR yet, it should be!

Etsy Find!
by Of The Land Shop in
Devon, England

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Books by Terry Tyler / Dystopian fiction / Books from England

2 comments:

  1. I am glad you could love this sequel just as much as the first book and it was able to take you on such a thrilling ride. The plot sounds fantastic but I also like the allusions to social commentary as well.

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    1. These are such brilliant novels - perfect for me and I have my fingers crossed that Terry's thoughts on expanding this series do come to fruition :-)

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