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
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
LOTUS BLUE / AUTHOR: CAT SPARKS / PUBLISHER: SKYHORSE / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 17TH