I wrote recently about not enjoying or finishing Claire North’s 84K. In her latest blog post she lists her (improbably large) back catalogue, with notes. On 84k:
My most miserable novel ever.
The word “dystopian” has been applied to it a lot, and I’d say that’s fair.
– Claire North, The Entire Backlist Ever – Summed Up!
However, she also tells us about her forthcoming Notes from The Burning Age, which sounds amazing:
To make up for just how monumentally dystopian 84K is, Notes from the Burning Age is a look at the distant future of the earth… in which we’ve got it right. We sorted our shit out, we built an environmentalist utopia of clean energy, social justice, respect for all and so on. And we did all of it partly because we really learned to love and value this beautiful, glorious planet, as well as each other, and partly because the spirits of the earth awoke, provoked by our blundering destruction, and nearly stomped us into tiny tiny bits.
If you think that’s the pitch, you will be potentially surprised to know that’s just the first 50 pages, and the book is actually a cat-and-mouse espionage thriller.
– Claire North, As before
She really has written an astonishing number of books, under three different names. I’ll be sure to try some of the others.
I enjoyed North's previous novel , with some reservations. This one was similar. I read it in a day — it's quite the page-turner — and it has a compelling plot trigger.
The first-person narrator is an entity who can jump into any human body from its current host, just by making skin-to-skin contact — the "touch" of the title. Male or female, young or old, it doesn't matter. The host doesn't know anything about it while they are possessed, and is left unharmed — unless, of course, something happens to their body while the possessor is in control.
Sounds pretty gruesome like that, so it's impressive that our sympathies are with the narrator throughout.
Good story, slightly flat ending. Hey-ho.