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by Brendan Ritchie

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Set in W.A., this novel is alot like the "Gone" series by Michael Grant. Nox has pretended he is someone named Stuart and jumped into a pre-booked taxi that pulled up at his bus stop early as he was running late. The taxi only takes him as far as a giant new shopping centre called Carousel in Perth's outer suburbs, where he is told to go through a side staff door. When he walks in, he immediately sees Taylor and Lizzy who are famous rock star sisters. (Think Taylor Swift x 2 -twins).
He is a huge fan and cautiously approaches them noticing at the same time that 1) he and they are the ONLY people in the centre 2) there is no cell phone nor wifi and 3) the doors all appear to be locked from the outside - they can't leave the centre!
After introducing himself, the 3 bad together and this is where it gets very strange...they have the entire shopping center to themselves and all the shops are open and unlocked AND it appears to have backup generators for power, so they have electricity, food, clothes, and staff showers and toilets to use that also have fresh water.
But maybe there IS someone in there with them, as the days go on and they start to notice things changed or missing. Also plaguing them is what has happened in the world outside? Has there been an apocalypse? The sisters are desperate to return to their native North America and try every door in the center to leave. They hear dogs barking outside and a noise like fireworks...what has happened?

Nox is a believable if slightly boring character. He has a lot of flaws and is not your gutsy "save the day" type hero ( like Ellie in the TWTWB series) which makes him very believable at the same time. Taylor and Lizzy are far more interesting and it is worthy to note that Ritchie has made them both gay so it discounts the "forced romance" that so often happens in novels like this. the author concentrates on the effects of social isolation on the central characters as opposed to their material overload and lack of deprivation in a huge shopping complex stocked with everything they could possibly want. SPOILER: The 4th character Rocky is a bit under developed but as he is younger, he provides a child figure for the other 3 Twenty-somethings to nurture.
A book similar to Gone and Monument 14 and the Charlie Higson Fear series although the main characters are older. It is for mature readers as it contains swearing, drugs and violence. First in a series of 2 books. ( )
  nicsreads | Jan 17, 2017 |
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Nox is an arts graduate wondering what to do with his life. Taylor and Lizzy are famous indie musicians, and Rocky works the checkouts at Target. When they find themselves trapped in a giant mall, they eat fast food, watch bad TV, and wait. But with no sign of any other humans, the novelty of having their own mall quickly fades. When days turn to weeks, a sense of menace quickly grows.… (more)

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