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The UnTied Kingdom by Kate Johnson

The UnTied Kingdom (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Kate Johnson

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414279,442 (3.8)27
Title:The UnTied Kingdom
Authors:Kate Johnson
Info:Choc Lit (2011), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read and Own
Tags:Fantasy, Read in 2012

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The UnTied Kingdom by Kate Johnson (2011)



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A mixture of fantasy (alternative history type) and romance, with the romance elements probably being more successful. But good fun, as long as you don't think about certain things too closely.

Eve Carpenter is a C list celebrity whose life is going nowhere since the break-up of her band GrrlPower. With her money siphoned off by her mother and accountant, and the taxman pursuing her for unpaid income tax, it seems that things can't get much worse. But reduced to taking part in a third rate reality TV programme she finds that they can: a hang-gliding stunt above the River Thames in London goes wrong and Eve finds herself falling into the Thames. Rescued from drowning by Major William Harker, Eve finds herself in a London hospital room, but in a London very different from any she has ever known. In this new world, the UK is a third world country fighting (and losing) a desperate war with the major world power, France. Actually there isn't even a United Kingdom, as Scotland and Wales have long ago split away from England. And having had no industrial revolution and been on the (losing) fringes of most of European history England is a place where the people are hungry, only the rich have electricity and computers are unknown.

So when the coalitionist allies of the French are rumoured to have more than one computer in Leeds which they are using to mastermind their attacks against the government troops, Major Harker is sent with some hand picked troops to try to capture one, but as none of them have even seen a computer Eve is reluctantly co-opted onto the expedition. And this is where the romance comes in, with Eve and Major Harker's feeling for each other becoming more and more complicated.

As I said this is probably a book you don't want to think too much about from the fantasy side. While I thought the depiction of third world Britain worked well, once you started to think about how it might have got like that there were a lot of things in this version of history that didn't make too much sense. But it was a really fun read; Major Harker made a very good romantic hero, and Eve a very feisty and capable heroine (even if she did seem to have an unusually good knowledge of computers for someone whose main talent was singing). ( )
  SandDune | May 8, 2013 |
The Un Tied Kingdom by Kate Johnson is a paranormal romance story that has Eve, a modern London resident accidentally falling through a portal into another world. This world, although similar to ours is a world where history took a turn along the way, here there has never been a Shakespeare or a British Empire. In this parallel universe, England is a poor country, torn apart by revolution and besieged by France, the current world power. Telephones, TV and computers are barely heard of, certainly not for the likes of everyday people. Literally falling into the arms of Major Harker, this strange encounter is to change their lives forever. Of course, Major Harker has plenty of his own baggage including his ex-wife, who happens to be his immediate superior in the army.

When the Major is picked for a dangerous mission, he chooses his squad carefully and Eve, although being held under the suspicion of being a spy, is included. They embark upon their adventure and at this point the book falls into pure chick-lit, where the main characters spend all of their time declaring their dislike of each other, but actually not being able to keep their hands (or lips) to themselves.

I started this book with high hopes, but unfortunately this book is more about the romance, than about an alternative universe. I found a lot of things to scratch my head over, and very little that made sense. The Un Tied Kingdom is definitely written more for the chic-lit audience rather than fantasy. I personally found the characters a little flat and the story too predictable. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Feb 22, 2012 |
My Thoughts:

I do enjoy a good alternative world kind of book. It's so fun to see what change if that or this happened or didn't happen. And it this book is was downhill all the way for England.

England was still a Catholic country, and had never built a large empire. Instead this glory had gone to France. There had been no WWI but there had been a "WWII" and sadly England had chosen the wrong side there. But there are more changes, no one discovered America, and poor old England is a third world country where only the army or the very rich own a phone and no one has a computer. Civil War is also tearing it apart.

Now doesn't that sound fun, it sure does. The country is bleak and in ruins. People are soldiering on, and the author has certainly created an interesting alternative world. One I really enjoyed reading about. Into all this Eve suddenly appears, she is sure something else and I liked her. If I had to say anything negative it was that she sure knew her computers, ok that is not negative, I just mean was she actually that good? Cos I could certainly not open one and see that a screw is loose. Anyway, perhaps she was, good for her cos the plot does need to go on ;) Moving along...The lead male character is Major Harker, kind of a brooding soldier type and even when he is all commands and all that I still fell for him. Then we also have some minor characters that help to bring life to this book.

What do we have so far.. awesome world! Good characters, a thrilling plot about hunting down a computer and moving through a dangerous warzone (people will get shot), and a budding romance between a couple that keep arguing.


I did not want to put it down because I needed to know what would happen. I would recommend this one too, oh this is hard, romance fans, suspense fans, steampunk fans (not the same but it works in a way), and all the rest of you too because it was a great book. And I sure hope the author writes something more like this book.


Hard to put down! ( )
  blodeuedd | Apr 5, 2011 |
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When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it's not the London or England she's used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England's a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve's a spy.… (more)

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