Sunday, 25 May 2014

Review - Iron Mountain by Dan Haight


Thank you to Dan Haight for kindly providing me with a copy of Iron Mountain

Dystopian fiction makes up a huge percentage of the books I read and when it is done right, it can be awesome, when it isn't well it can be laughable, thankfully Iron Mountain falls in to the former, I read and reviewed earlier this month the amazing Flotilla from Dan Haight and I loved it.

Thankfully Flotilla is part of a series and I was very kindly given a copy of book 2, Iron Mountain to read.  After the ending of book 1 I really was desperate to see what happens to the narrator of the story Jim.

Before I start this book has a couple of things which I loved straight away, Maps!, I love a good map, I even went out a bought the atlas of Middle Earth because I love maps so much, anyway I digress there is a map of the area in Iron Mountain as well as a map of the Colony, there is also a list of characters which comes in handy to for reference.

Flotilla ended with Los Angeles and its surrounding area being attacked by dirty bombs that have infected the population with a flesh eating disease, the ones lucky enough to escape this disease have to deal with radiation, looting and all the other nasties that come after a major incident like that.



Jim had escaped Colony D with his sister Madison, escaping from the pirates, the locals who were after his Dad and the fact that Colony D was left to fend for itself following the disaster on the mainland.  

They arrive at the coast and are looked after by Bob and Helen who find them and take them in, but due to there being huge amounts of civil unrest they decided to make a run for it in the trusty Horner C, Jim's dad's boat.

At sea, they have to decide where to go, their list of options is few and far between, eventually they decide to head toward another PacFish colony - Colony C.

On arrival it becomes clear that Jim's dad's dodgy reputation has been spread far and wide, he does not have a lot of fans here, but Jim is not like his father and before we know it he is given a job looking after IT on the colony, his sister along with Bob and Helen also find their place on this floating island.

Jim comes across Mitch from colony D on board, he is still as nasty as ever and has his finger in a lot of pies, he also meets an African American family, the Orchards, Doc aka Scott, who is the resident doctor of the colony, his wife LaShondra and daughter Michelle (who Jim has his eyes on!), they welcome Jim, Madison, Helen and Bob with open arms and things start to feel normal, well as normal as they can on a floating island of the coast of an America ravaged by a biological attack.

Bob and Helen, take their chances and go back to the mainland to see what is happening, leaving the kids behind under the Orchard's care, things however start to take a turn for the worse on the colony.

Jim meets Holden a charismatic man who decides to start a militia on the colony, with the purpose of eventually going to the mainland to help, Jim is completely charmed by this man, and rises through the ranks becoming one of Holden's right hand men.

What Jim is oblivious to is the fact that this militia is full of white supremacists and despite a warning from the Doc, Jim doesn't believe it until he sees it for himself as all ethnic minorities are rounded up and Doc is given a beating.

The Orchards with Jim and Madison make a run for it in the Horner C, and this begins the next half of the story where they look for a safe haven, conscious of the fact Holden is after them, they hope to find Jim's mum and step dad along with his father.  When they arrive on shore they find everything in chaos and fuelling up the Horner C is a dangerous business, they find friends and foes here and some longed for faces, but the story steps up when Jim hears from his father but finds he is with the militia, who are raising hell up and down the coast.

Jim and Doc go in search of him, and that is when they get to the Iron Mountain of the title and where the story explodes with detail.  The journey from the coast to find Jim's dad has to be one of my favourite parts of the book and we get to find out that Doc is a bit of a badass.

This story again has amazing world building from Dan, you can literally feel the boat swaying on the ocean as he delivers line after line of gripping dialogue.  Jim is still only 15 in this story and has had to do a lot of growing up but you can tell he still has some more to do.

The story of Jim is not over yet, a third book is on the horizon, hopefully soon!  I can't wait to share it with you guys once I get my greedy hands on a copy!

Iron Mountain is awarded 5 out of 5





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