Monday, 12 May 2014

Review - Flotilla by Dan Haight


My copy of Flotilla was purchashed with my own shiny pennies!

Flotilla is awesome, buy it, it gets 5 stars!  That is my review!!

Ok, no I am only joking, not about the 5 stars or the fact its awesome but I of course I am going to give you more than one sentence.

I came across this book a while back on Twitter, it ticked most of my boxes, outbreaks, disasters, nice American setting, dystopian feel but the one thing I wasn't sure of was the story being told from the point of view of Jim a 14 year old boy.

As most of the books I generally read are from a female point of view I wasn't sure how I would get on.  I needn't had worried, Jim may be young be he tells a phenomenal tale.

Flotilla kicks off with Jim being sent to live with his dad, Jim has been in rehab for alcohol addiction and he is not really in the best of places so his mother decides he should go and spend time with his dad.  His dad is not just in another town or city or even country, he is living and working on Colony D a Pacific Fisheries floating colony which is a 12 hours boat trip of the coast of Los Angeles.

The colony is a huge flotilla of ships of all shapes and sizes roped together to form a floating town which has everything from your simple cafe to a gun range, all walks of life are here too and at the centre of the colony is the Phoenix a huge ship where the PacFish company is based,  the colony is a strange new world to Jim but he soon learns to adjust to his new home the Horner C, his dad has him working all hours of the day for him and his friends and of course along the way he makes stupid mistakes but he also makes good friends. 

His Dad is quite the character, he is always trying for the next big thing and gets involved in a lot of dodgy deals, he certainly was not the most paternal of men.

At the end of the summer Jim is sent back to the mainland to his mum, step dad and little sister Madison but he feels strange being back on dry land and hits the bottle again, tired of his drinking his mum sends him to AA, I personally felt at this point Jim is not taking it seriously but his is only 14 going on 15, he has a lot to learn.

As the book progresses we find Jim back on Colony D and he has the welcome distraction of a girl in his life, his dad seems to be on the up running the colony's casino and his sister is visiting but life is not all sunshine and roses for long.

His dad is mixed up in something big but before anything can happen with that something much bigger gets in the way, Los Angeles is under attack, a deadly virus has been unleashed and as Jim and his family watch the news reports comes in, America is under attack.

His dad is drafted to help people on the mainland but he warns Jim before he goes to make sure his sister is looked after, and that if Jim does not hear from him within 3 days to take the boat that they call home and head north.  All hell starts to kick off as the colony is left to fend for itself, Jim is under constant threat from people who were mixed up with his dad and then a new threat looms on the horizon - pirates.

Flotilla is one of these books that starts of as a great story then it kicks it up a notch and gets even better, I read a review of this book where someone had complained about the attacks coming late in the story, I disagree I liked the fact that you are almost lured in to a false sense of security, the story starts of dealing with Jim and his dodgy dad but then BAM! its turned on its head.

Dan Haight has done some fantastic world building with the colony, trying to picture it in my head was easy thanks to his vivid descriptions, in my head it looked like a floating Blade Runner set without all the neon lights.

Thankfully this is part of a series and I have the next book Iron Mountain lined up to go in the coming weeks, you can also visit the http://flotillaonline.com/ site were you can download samples of Iron Mountain, read excerpts of Flotilla and generally have a good nosey.  Also you can follow FlotillaOnline on Twitter for updates.

An awesome read, and I am looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.

Flotilla gets 5 out of 5


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