Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Nicola Penfold’s debut, ‘Where the World Turns Wild.’ Juniper lives inside a sterile world where nature has been banned after a deadly tick-borne virus has devastated the population. She struggles to breathe in this confined space where she is regarded with suspicion being one of the few who are resistant to this disease. Together with her brother Bear, they dream of returning to their mother – who lives in the wild – despite knowing the world outside is a dangerous place. Yet this dream seems impossible until the day they are forced to make a stark choice in order to survive and embark on an incredible journey that will change how they see the world forever.
For me the mark of a great dystopian adventure is there has to be a real possibility that the events could actually happen in the future and terrifyingly this world seems very close and real. A world that is being devastated by over consumption of our finite resources and a total lack of understanding of the role nature plays in keeping our planet alive. As ecological movements become increasingly prevalent in society, the possibility of a group attempting to reclaim the ‘wild’ at whatever cost could be our future. Nicola explores how we are becoming disconnected from nature as things we have taken for granted become strange, like acorns and nettles to future generations of children. This theme strongly resonates throughout the book as we see Juniper and Bear exposed to nature in all of it’s beauty and we see how their lack of understanding limits their chance of survival as they face its brutality, out in the wild all alone.
I think with dystopian adventures we have often come to expect high-octane adventures filled with breath-taking thrills and spills but this isn’t that story. Instead Nicola cleverly introduces the life and death experiences through the journey they undertake to try and find their home as they struggle to survive in a strange and stark world where the unexpected lies in wait for them. She has created an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful story that demands to be shared, it’s a wake up call for the way we live our lives and shows the true fragility of the world we live in. The characterisation is exceptional, she has crafted Juniper and Bear in such a way that you become inextricably caught up in their experiences. A tale of love, loss and the importance of finding our true home this is a stunning and beautiful debut.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for reviews, guest posts and giveaways.
Thank you to Leilah and Stripes for inviting me to join in with the blog tour. ‘Where the World Turns Wild,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.