Six Days by Philip Webb

The recent trend in the publishing world of dystopian fiction is one that I am embracing whole-heartily.  I love the way different authors portray our future society, throwing in a corrupt ruler or organisation, a touch of romance and a mystery that their hero has to solve.  The majority of recent dystopian novels are set in America (or what was once America) so it was refreshing to read about a future Britain in Philip Webb’s Six Days.

Cass, her brother Wilbur, and their dad are Scavvs.  They work day in, day out ransacking what’s left of London, looking for a lost relic that no one has ever seen.  London is one of the only cities in the world left standing after the Quark Wars.  The Vlads have taken over control of the city and have forced those still alive to scavenge London to look for the ‘artifact.’  Cass’ brother, Wilbur, believes he knows where the artifact is and he’s determined to find it.  When Cass has to rescue her brother from what was once Big Ben, they meet a mysterious boy who looks nothing like a scav.  Not only is he not a scav, he’s also not of this world, and he knows the truth about the artifact that everyone is looking for.  This artifact has the power to begin and end life on earth and the Vlads will stop at nothing to get hold of it.

Six Days is an original, exciting mix of action, adventure, mystery and science fiction.  While I was reading it I was reminded of a quote from Shrek, ‘Ogres are like onions,’ because Six Days is also like an onion – there are so many layers to the story.  At first it seems like a dystopian story because you’ve got a future society ruled over by the invading Vlads. Then there’s the mystery of the artifact and the race to find it.  There’s also the story of where the artifact has come from and it’s link to the mysterious boy Cass meets in Big Ben.  All of these different parts come together in one incredible story that rockets along.  Cass is a fantastic narrator and will appeal equally to boys and girls (there’s no gushy romance to put guys off).  Philip Webb makes you really care for the characters and that’s what got me so engrossed in the story.  One of the reasons I like Six Days so much was because it’s not the first book in a trilogy, so Philip has packed so much into one book and you finish it satisfied that the story has come to a conclusion.  I can’t wait to see what Philip Webb writes next!