A review of the novel “The Rising Tide” by Prashant Vaze

These days, some young adult fiction is so good it should be read by adults themselves and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the the “His Dark Materials” trilogy by Philip Pullman and “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. “The Rising Tide” too will appeal to adults as well as youngsters.

Like the previously mentioned trilogies, this novel has as its protagonist a young girl with some special skills and indeed the point of view is that of 15 year old Aria Lovelace, a schoolgirl in a Britain of some half a century hence when global warming is wreaking worldwide devastation as mammoth chunks of Greenland ice break off to cause tsunamis and rising sea levels.

Although the themes of the novel are huge – an environmental catastrophe, a growing refugee crisis and the interface between humans and technology – the focus of the narrative is very tight in terms of time (just a few weeks), place (a village in Norfolk), and characters (essentially Aria’s family). As the story unfolds, it is increasingly clear that Aria is special but, when it comes, the great reveal is a genuine surprise.

Vaze – a Londoner currently based in Hong Kong – is a self-confessed policy wonk with a passion for the environment and he has written an impressive first work of fiction with intriguing thoughts on the future of education and energy supply and the roles of connected devices and artificial intelligence.


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