Thursday, 17 April 2014

Book Review: Riot - Sarah Mussi

Pub. Date- May 1st 2014 Publisher- Hachette Children’s Books
Pages- 352 Genre- Science Fiction/Young Adult Rating- 2 Stars

I received this courtesy of Hachette Children’s Books through
NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Goodreads - Book Depository

It is 2018. England has been struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out. The Police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking.
The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without further education plans or guaranteed employment. The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians  are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefits, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more.But it is all so blatantly unfair - the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won’t. It’s time for the young to take to the streets.

Riot has all the makings of a great book but fell short, on the follow through of a pretty cool idea.  We start off in the year 2018 and things have really changed and certainly not for the better, England is crowded to the max and there are people living in poverty and need everywhere.  The government has come up with a bill to reduce the number of people in need. If teenagers don’t have money, a job or plans to study further they then get ‘the snip’ which is pretty much castration and they are have no choice about it. From the very start of the book everything was confusing and an the interesting premise goes downhill fast, to the point where this would have been a one star book but it got two for the great.

Lets start with the bit I disliked most then go from there. The time period this is set in is literally only four years on from now. It is very unbelievable that England, a country that is pretty well off in the scheme of things has suddenly fallen to nearly complete ruin. Why has the no one else in the world been like ‘hey that’s defying so many human rights, you shouldn’t do that’, also considering England has a flipping (something Tia says way to often like every paragraph) Monarchy. Where were they in this whole bill situation? The Monarch does have the power to say no to any bill and then its done and dusted. Where were they? Everything about the book would have been so much more realistic if it was not in a time period so easily envisioned.  

Now to the characters whom I either really didn’t like or feel connected to at all. Tia the protagonist and narrator is one of the most naïve and irritating characters that’s had the joy of frustrating the hell out of me. For a hacker that has organised protests and knows all about an underground network she really knows nothing about the real world, for a lot of the first part of the book, when people are being shot and everyone is rioting all she’s worried about is getting back to school so they don’t call her father, really Tia, really. I did enjoy the style that Tia’s narration was in but that’s really it other than her relationship with Corbain that redeemed her.  As every girl knows your relationship should be the best part about you. Tia and Corbain’s relationship is very cute and thankfully is not instalove they learn to trust and rely on each other before them being together is even a thing.

Some other things I didn’t enjoy were how obvious the villain was and the horrible ending that wrapped up everything in the most simple and neat way possible. I’m not going to fully explain the ending as not to give any accidental spoilers but it was gag worthy.

To sum up my thoughts about this book, yes it was action packed but very confusing and not greatly written in a sense that nothing was really explained or given a reason as to why it happen. I would plan Sarah Mussi’s other book sometime in the future to see if it was her writing I don’t personally enjoy or if this book is a fluke.

Have you read this? Have you read Sarah Mussi’s other book?


  1. Great review. This is the second review I have seen of this book, and the other review was just as negative. It had a great premise but it just doesn't seem to have pulled it off. It also seems ridiculous that England is in that much of a state after four years. They also mentioned that the villain was completely obvious. Thanks for the honest review, will definitely be avoiding this one.

    1. I think i would take a reader who doesn’t sweat the small stuff to read this and like it, there are some many perfectly tied up irritating plot points. My main thing was why wasn’t the rest of the world wanting to know what was going on. Thanks for commenting!


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