I’ve decided to add a book review section to The Comic Vault because reading is one of my greatest passions. Sharing the work of talented authors is important and I’d like to help with the process. For my first review, I’m concentrating on Melvin Burgess’ Bloodtide.
Bloodtide is a story of violence, political scheming and a shocking insight into the heart of human ambition. Set in the decaying ruins of a futuristic London, gang princess Signy Volson is married off to the treacherous Conor by her father in the hopes of uniting the London gangs. This is to fight against the animalistic half-men outside the city. What follows is a brutal removal of everything Signy thought she knew about the world. It will lead her on a path that grows darker and darker.
The most compelling thing about the novel is the striking characters. Signy and her twin brother Siggy begin as two rebellious teenagers. Their devotion to each other stands as one of the overarching themes of the plot. As time goes on they grow further apart as the lines are blurred between who the reader is supposed to root for. Burgess’ ability to transform his characters, to take away what made them sympathetic, is astounding. How the twins react to their environment as they grow older is a testament to masterful storytelling. Isn’t this what real life boils down to? Don’t we all have the power to commit acts of kindness and cruelty?
Each chapter is styled from the perspective of different characters, from Siggy to one of the half-men named Dag Aggerman. Burgess is able to create distinct voices through colloquialisms and actions that you would come to expect from these individuals.
You can feel the tension growing from the first page. Burgess leaves the reader guessing as to how it will end. Will Signy succeed in killing Conor? Will the twins have a happy reunion? The stakes are high and that struggle comes to life.
Bloodtide refuses to pull its punches in the commentary of society’s need to reinvent itself. To adapt and become stronger by any means.
The characters are uncompromising, realistic and tug at the heart strings. There are no winners in Bloodtide, no one is spared from the ugly truth of reality.
The book is available on Amazon.