Mutant city by Steve Feasey
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408843031.
(Ages: 13-15) Highly recommended. I really enjoyed this book which I read in three sittings and I highly recommend as an attractive read for reluctant boy readers particularly in years nine and ten. The subject matter, dystopian society and mutants with powers, and its bright embossed cover and the attention paid to the blurb will attract many readers. It is a fast paced plot driven story packed with adventure and adrenalin.
Five very young children are rescued from an experimental science facility and hidden away in safe houses. Thirteen years later they each telepathically receive a message to go to Mutant city. In particular we follow Rush as authorities aware of his existence raid his farmhouse. He escapes but realises he will have to cross the wastelands in order to avoid the troops. He also realises that he has an important mission to accomplish while on his journey.
Meanwhile Tia from her privileged position in the inner citadel seeks to go into Mutant city in order to expose the unfairness of life in the ghettos. She meets Jax, a strange mutant who is seemingly the leader of a resistant mutant group, he persuades her that she needs to get him and his friends into the citadel.
There is a strong cast of male and female characters, and if there is one strong lesson from this story it is that a united team can achieve more than individuals standing on their own. Steve Feasey also pictures two societies living side by side which to my mind suggests a sense of the slums outside some of the great cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai and the inequality.
Even though set in the future after war, the themes really are about prejudice and rights and thus can be useful in helping to explore broader themes.
This is also a strongly marketed book using social media which may useful in selling the novel to readers. The book sets itself up for the inevitable sequel mutant uprising.