“We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”
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 sterilization of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment.
The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, 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. It’s time for them to RIOT:
OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE, OUR BODIES, OUR FUTURE.
I’m lost! I don’t know where to start this review except to tell you all that I am gripped and moved by this novel in the most unexpected way. No I didn’t cry but I am drained and utterly horrified by the possibility that the story is real and happening somewhere or may happen in the near future, though I still hope it is not.
The story is set around Britain in the year 2018. It started right at the center of a riot happening in London where Tia an activist is part of. She is not ordinary activist though, because she is the daughter of a prominent government figure who is running a campaign against the poor. Tia is one of the Anonymous – an active Hacktivist who started their campaign online. The riot is a real messed. There are lots of deaths and casualties and Tia is one of them. She was shot but saved by Cobain, another target of the government. Cobain is publicized by the government as the epitome of all that is wrong with the country. He is presented not only as an enemy of the state but also the most bad example of the poor, a mistake cause of poverty that according to the government is due to overpopulation. Eventually, Tia and Cobain find an unusual ally with each other. A combination of will and brain to fight against the most powerful.
“This is supposed to be a peaceful demo. Non-violent, non-cooperation. Make Sense not War.”
I’ve seen some mixed ratings for this book from goodreads and I wonder what went wrong for other readers? I guess, this is not really for everyone. This isn’t perfect, even I have little issue and preferences but overall, I don’t think those issues really matters, because the novel did a great job in raising question and adding awareness to the readers like me. It serves it purpose being a dystopian fiction that it is. It’s entertaining and thought provoking.
Right at the beginning, Sarah Mussi throw the readers into the actions as the opening scene focus on a riot that is happening in London where Tia, our narrator is participating. The tension is palpable and I can’t help but get feel thrill and get intrigue. Reading Tia’s take is like being in the center of the riot myself, so vivid and powerful.
As for Tia, well she is pretty good character, though a bit naive for a leader of an activists group. But given her rich background I understand why she sometimes act and think the way she did. Her transition from idealistic rich girl who wants to protect the poor to a girl who have a better understanding of the real world is well done.
Cobain on the other hand is more aware of the world, not only because of his poor background but also because of the things he experienced and saw first hand. He is more reasonable and more dependable than Tia.
I appreciate all the ideas that the novel presented — the NoMoreChildrenInNeed Policy, the snipping, the secret agency and the manipulation of the government. They are future possibilities that may happen to some part of the world if we are not careful with our actions and decisions. These stuffs will make you think of the possibilities if not horrify you.
“You can’t destroy things and expect anything better. That’s where we’re different. I want to fix things, build things, dream big. And I can’t see how trashing everything will help.”
Overall, Riot is a powerful novel that will not only make you feel all the horrifying and heart-wrenching scenes that the novel paints but also makes you fonder of the world we are living. It will makes you ask a lot of questions about the future of government and politics, the actual state of poverty, over population, human rights, and national security. The story is so realistically portrayed that you will wish and hope that nothing like this is really happening somewhere. It is sad, frightening, and even degrading which just makes everything utterly disturbing if real.