Silo the Seer
By V. Peyton
Published by Corgi / Random House Children’s Books
ISBN 978 0 552 57353
Here we are again in that post-apocalyptic world that YA authors love so much. But V. Peyton’s take on what’s happened after the destruction of the world as we know it is a bit different from the rest. To start with, it seems lighter and much less doom-laden. Might there actually be humour here amongst the mess?
Yes, there’s been a Great Catastrophe that has wiped out civilisation, and yes, a few pockets of human beings have somehow survived to carry on the human race. Ten year-old Silo Zyco lives in one of these struggling communities in a place called the Eastern Marshes where life depends on the mud and filthy water that swirl around everywhere. Don’t mention eel suppers to Silo! He is fed up of eating nothing but eel.
Silo is an orphan, struggling to keep his head above the water. All his family has been wiped out by a mini tsunami that deposited yet more mud on the Eastern Marshes. Silo is all alone in the world, but he has a special gift that he is just learning how to use. He is a Seer and can see things that will happen in the future. Could this be his way out of the Eastern Marshes to a better life?
Far, far away from the Eastern Marshes, there is a place called the Capital City that Silo has heard about in hushed whispers. And the Government in the Capital City knows that there are special children out there who can help them to discover the secrets of the Ancients (us!) who appear to have lived in a better world. Kids like Silo Zyco must be sought out and brought to the Capital City to help the Government rediscover the lost powers of the Ancients.
Silo is removed from the Eastern Marshes by a government official and escorted to the Capital City. As he journeys to his new life he sees damaged motorways, the ruins of old towns and other remnants of the Ancients’ civilisation. In the Capital City, Silo joins a small group of other ‘seer’ children, but all is not as it seems, and Silo and his new friends are soon caught up in an adventure against a corrupt government determined at all costs to discover the secrets of the not-too-distant past.
Silo the Seer is an exciting read, but its secret weapon is the clever humour that runs through the whole book. Peyton’s writing is top-notch, and at times, in some of the descriptive passages, elegant and cinematic.
Humour, likeable young characters and gripping adventure all to make SILO an enjoyable and entertaining novel for early teen readers. Silo Zyco is a new hero to watch, and hopefully Veronica Peyton is lining him up for more classy adventures to come.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com.