PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

Lotus Blue is sci-fi author Cat Sparks’ debut novel, and for a first journey it’s a hell of a ride. Because it’s the kind of book you should know as little as possible about before you begin reading, here’s a brief synopsis: in a post-apocalyptic future, something tremendously ancient and powerful awakens in the desert. It’s called Lotus Blue and, despite its rather cosy nomenclature, it is far from friendly. In fact, it is the deadliest of all ancient war machines, and it will stop at nothing to carry out its mission.

But Star and her sister Nene have problems of their own. They are nomadic orphans travelling in a thirteen-wagon desert caravan, and they have just entered a forbidden territory known as the Dead Red Heart, a ruined landscape preyed upon by long-forgotten monsters and rogue technology. The sisters are used to living with danger, but when an archaic satellite smashes to Earth the stakes are raised nightmarishly high. Star is forced to begin a journey that will take her dramatically away from the life she knows, and a secret that her sister has spent her whole life trying to protect Star from will begin to surface.

And just when things couldn’t get worse, Lotus Blue is waiting.

Where YA fiction is concerned, post-apocalyptic universes and teenage heroines are a dime a dozen, but it’s the environment that makes this novel so fresh and engaging. From the opening paragraphs you can feel the desert heat and the sand whipping your face, and smell the bodies that are packed into the wagon where Star is sitting. Perhaps inevitably it also conjures up images of Star Wars’ Tatooine - this is definitely a place where George Lucas’s Tusken Raiders would feel at home - and maybe because of Cat Sparks’ Australian heritage, there’s also a sense that this is a place where Mad Max could be living somewhere among the rocky outcrops, watching the caravan wind its tortuous way along the harsh Sand Road. But Lotus Blue is more than a pastiche of cinematic imaginings, it’s an intensely written story that has a unique flavour all its own. And, like all very good YA fiction, its audience is universal.

If post-apocalyptic Cli-Fi is your thing, and you’re looking for a story that is as intelligent and thought-provoking as it is exciting, you’ll find a lot to admire in Lotus Blue.


Suggested Articles:
Imagine that your innocuous-seeming travel business was the cover for an ultra-top secret agency of
In his 2006 obituary to Nigel Kneale, which opens this fascinating new book on the work of one of Br
The closing chapter of The Falconer trilogy, The Fallen Kingdom sees Aileana Kameron, a Victorian de
Wonder Woman and Philosophy really does what it says on the tin; it is a book that takes a deeper lo
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Sign up today!