Skip to content

We Go On Forever By Sarah Govett

We Go On Forever‘We Go On Forever’ is the latest book by Sarah Govett.

Arthur is dying. He must transition within the next four weeks or face permanent memory loss. Alba is studying, preparing to impress the Mentors in an all-important interview. If she’s picked as the next Apprentice she will be reunited with her best friend and cross the Wilderness for the first time.They meet and everything comes together. And everything falls apart.

I’ll be honest when I initially started this story, I found it a bit hard to get into, but as the story progressed, I find myself hooked by this bittersweet dystopian story.

The story is seen through the narrative of Arthur and Alba, both from polar opposites of life. Alba is a young woman who’s her real name is F but her best friend calls her Alba due to the paleness of her skin. She lives in a world where she is waiting for her mentor. Whereas Arthur is living on borrowed time, he’s dying and he has to translation to another body, he thinks Alba is perfect until he realises that he’s fallen for her.

The story is a dark and bleak one that is reminiscent of now with people walking around with masks and gloves. Antibiotics no longer work, so people transition to other bodies, but not everyone is that fortunate and people like Alba are created to become to hosts to the lucky ones.

Once I initially got into the story, I liked the pace of it, alternating between Alba and Arthur and it was interesting to see both sides of the story, from the privileged to the naive and unknown. I loved Alba, she’s sweet with a kind heart who’s keen to see beyond the four walls that she’s restricted to and is fascinated by it all. I loved her interaction with Arthur and their tentative awe of one another made for sweet reading.

A story of friendship, hope and courage, ‘We Go On Forever’ is a genuinely moving and beautifully written story with a haunting conclusion that will take your breath away.

You can buy ‘We Go On Forever’ from Marotte Books and a signed copy of the book is available at no extra cost.

Last One At The Party By Bethany Clint

Last One At The Party‘Last One At The Party’ is the debut novel by Bethany Clift.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own. Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

To be honest, when I initially started reading this book, I found it a bit difficult and scary to get into. That’s purely because, the story is based around the woman being the sole survivor when an illness wipes out the world and she’s left alone with only a dog for company. With currently being in a pandemic and I did wonder about the publishers logic with thinking about the release of the book during a pandemic, but on reflection, in comparison to the illness called 6DM, life could be considerably worse.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of a woman, who’s name is never given as she tries to find civilisation outside London, stealing cars along the way hoping to find more survivors. Instead, she meets a scruffy Golden Retriever called Lucky, who offers her companionship and something to live for, whilst she tries to find a home and food for them.

Bethany is a great writer, she’s vivid with her descriptions, from the state of the world to the crippling death from 6DM which makes for horrific reading and occasionally I did find myself having to take a break from the gore, even though the sharp and snappy chapters did encourage me to keep going.

The woman has no name in the story, which is interesting as it made her relatable in a sense and it felt like the reader, themselves was the sole survivor. The story is written in past and present tense and this gives background to her and how she has become the woman that she is now. Her battles with mental health, her insecurity and fears and now she has to confront all these fears alone, as she deals with juggling between taking her own life or finding something to live for. She’a a strong and determined woman and her strength shines through with each challenge she’s faced with, when her phone dies, the electricity powers off or when she is faced with killer seagulls. The woman is a witty character and she delivers incredible one linters throughout, injecting some mirth into this dystopian tale.

Addictive, gory and filled to the brim with vomit and diarrhoea, ‘Last One At The Party’ is a fantastic debut. It’s a strangely uplifting and inspiring story about the end of the world that stays with the reader long after they reach the final page.

You can buy ‘Last One At The Party’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Afterland By Lauren Beukes

Afterland‘Afterland’ is the latest book by Lauren Beukes

Three years after a virus wiped out 99% of the men on earth, a mother and son are on the run. All Cole has left in the world is her boy, Miles. With men now a prized commodity, keeping him safe means breaking hastily written new rules – and leaving her own sister for dead. All Miles has left in the world is his mother. But is one person enough to save him from the many who would kill to get their hands on a living boy? Together, Cole and Miles embark on a journey across a changed, hostile country, towards a freedom they may never reach. And when Cole’s sister tracks them down, they’ll need to decide who to trust – and what loyalty really means in this unimaginable new world.

The story is set sometime in the future when a terrible virus causes the majority of the males in the world to die. In a world now run by female, reproduction is at a standstill as they figure out what to do next.

Miles is a young boy who is one of few survivors and him and his mother Cole have been taken into a secure location. They are to be tested on to help with future vaccines and reproduction. When Cole’s sister Billie turns up to rescue, Cole is delighted but she’s unaware that Billie has an ulterior motive, to sell Miles. Once Cole figures out what is going on, she flees with Miles disguising him as a little girl called Mila. The story then follows Cole and Mila as they flee to safety hiding from Billie and her disgruntled buyers.

The story is written in the past and present sequences and starts at the point that Cole and Miles escape Billie’s clutches and leaves Billie in a car accident. The past sequences feature when the virus first hits the world and when Cole and Mila are in the secure location. The story is seen from the narrative of Cole, Mila and Billie.

Multiple narratives in this story give an interesting slant to the tale, as Cole’s maternal instinct kicks in and her primary objective is to get her son to safety, no matter. Travelling across America with the desire to travel home to Johannesburg who she could finally feel a bit safer. Miles is adapting to a life with being a rarity in a world of women and is trying to remember a happier time when he wasn’t on the run and his father was still alive. Whilst lacks any maternal instinct and is led purely by money and where Cole has a kind nature, Billie is fierce.

This dystopian and bleak book makes for despairing and unsettling reading, that was definitely up there with the likes of ‘The Road’. It’s vividly descriptive, with a barren landscape and the desperation of trying to find a cure and how males are essentially being sold on the black market.

For me, what was striking about the story is the emphasis on how a world can change in 6 months and that is certainly reflective with what’s happening in 2020 and the pandemic. For me, dystopian stories are always set much further in the future, so when the likes of Ed Sheeran is mentioned, it quickly reminds the reader of how close in time it is to the future.

’Afterland’ is a gripping story of survival and a mother’s love with a storyline that scarily seems almost similar to the world that we currently live in.

You can buy ‘Afterland’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.