Author: Sarah Mussi
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Hodder Children’s and Netgalley for this ARC!
I am a bit torn on Riot. On one hand is has an interesting and politically heated premise, on the other hand it’s very convoluted and confusing. A part of me feels like I should nail the book for the level of confusion and misdirection is gives the reader, but I almost want to oddly applauded the book for going in a variety of directions, and one that never feels like the right one.
This is the first novel I’ve ever read by Sarah Mussi, and although Riot is an odd duck, I don’t feel like it will be my last. Her writing is gorgeous and disturbing, and you never feel entirely comfortable or aware while reading this novel. Although out narrator is constantly throwing information at the reader, a lot of clarity goes out the window and I kind of liked that this book was in a lot of ways a puzzle to uncover. However, I also think it’s the book’s biggest downfall because the puzzle lacks a clear result, the ending is a bit stoic, and you feel like for the time you spent reading the book like more concrete elements should have occurred.
Mussi’s novel definitely talks about a scary future, and one that actually could happen, and one we should be concerned about.Cities that are becoming the haves and havenots are rarer, but are becoming less so and yet reading this book you feel like you’re drowning in voices — like you’re actually a part of these riots and revolts. The tech side was also handled well, but it wasn’t always engaging to read about. In fact, there’s chunks of this book where it’s doing a lot of preaching but no action, which for a book called Riot, I expected a bit more.
Riot is not a bad book, but if you’re expecting something to happen and be engaging from start to finish you will be disappointed. You also need to have some tolerance for preachiness, but I think her message is solid all around even if the execution wasn’t perfect. Riot has great description and political self-awareness, but it needed more action to make it a much more intense read.