Write Away Review by Bridget Carrington
A disturbing dystopian view of a world in which an alzheimers-like disorder mentally enfeebles everyone beyond their teens, and in which an elite youth culture reigns over a disintegrating society. Only the toughest and luckiest survive. They, regaining some sanity after middle age, live in spartan compounds, despised by children, blamed for all that has happened. Witnessing the murders of the Greyhairs, two teenagers, Mree and Joshwa, are unwittingly caught up in a sequence of events which reveals the corruption and violence of the new regime. First hunted then hunters, they become the only hope of a salvation for a misguided and misled society.
DelMonte certainly provides the ‘challenging fiction’ which Hawkwood seek to publish, and will undoubtedly engage teenage readers with this thought-provoking title. The prospect of an ever younger targetted brain-wasting disease is a terrifying one, only surpassed in horror by the sheer ruthlessness of the youthful ruling elite in their perpetual search for greater power and pleasure. Bizarrely, the govermental system is based on school, with heads of houses (based in the remnants of our familiar twenty-first century London) ultimately ruled by a Head Boy or Head Girl. The recovering Greyhairs, their mental function restored but banished and ridiculed, revert to a self-sufficient society. Their accumulated wisdom, together with the inside knowledge of Joshwa and Mree, who have realized the depth of depravity inherent in their teenage rulers, eventually allows society to rebuild itself.
An exciting, terrifying novel which will encourage readers to examine aspects of our own society and make some better informed value judgements.