By Tim Bowler
Published by Oxford
ISBN 978 0 19 271980 5
When you can't even remember your own name, how do you know who you should trust and who you should be afraid of? Memory gives us the direction we need to get on with our lives and be who we are. If it's wiped out, a large part of what makes us 'us' also disappears.
Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler's teenage psychological thriller Bloodchild holds readers in its vice-like grip from the very first page. A teenage boy is lying in a deserted country lane. His mind is working but his body won't move.
All the boy knows is that he's been the victim of an accident. He doesn't know when or how it happened. He can hear the birds singing in the trees and far away a girl's voice is saying something to someone. He just can't make out the words she is shouting.
The boy tries to hang on to his thoughts and focus on what's going on, but he feels his consciousness, and maybe his life slipping away. Suddenly everything goes black.
With an opening as intriguing as this, there is no choice but to keep reading.
The boy wakes up in a hospital bed. He has no memory of anything except the images he saw when he was in the lane. There are two people at his bedside who tell him they are his parents and that his name is Will.
His physical injuries are not serious, and 'Will' is taken by the couple to an unfamiliar house on a cliff to piece together the story of his life and find out who he is. They tell him the house is his home, and as he starts to settle in, Will slowly beings to find out about the boy everyone says he is.
The confused teenager is troubled to discover Will is a young man who causes problems wherever he goes. He is told that, before his accident, he had started having visions about something horrific that was going on in the seaside town.
Will starts to notice the strange looks and hostile stares people give him. The townsfolk clearly don't like having him around and Will quickly realises that he has actual enemies.
There is clearly something dark and dangerous going on beneath the surface. Can Will find out what's going on before someone stops him? An unmissable, chilling, thrilling page-turner.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com