Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Bombmaker by Claire McFall

Title: Bombmaker
Author: Claire McFall
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher at blogger event
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Publication Date: 1st February 2014

Tell Me About It
The English government have closed the borders with their Celtic neighbours. Any Celt found in England is branded with a tattoo, found twice they are executed. Scottish Lizzie is the 'property' of psychopathic London gang boss Alexander. Can Lizzie escape Alexander's deadly grip and at what price her betrayal?
My Thoughts
I have had Bombmaker sitting on my shelf waiting to be read since I received it at a blogger event, so I finally picked this up to read, and I could not put it down. The first chapter lets us see Lizzie in action, putting a bomb together and then getting the hell out of there. At first glance this action alone would put Lizzie in your 'dislike' list, but as the chapter continues you find out that Lizzie isn't what she seems and she does this to survive, she is owned by Alexander, a very rich and powerful person, who with the click of his fingers can hang a death sentence over your head. Lizzie is trapped, forced to live with Alexander and follow his every whim, or try to escape and end up dead. Below is a passage from the book that explain Lizzie's situation.
I was his. Not his wife, or his girlfriend. I was something he owned, like the building, or the sleek silver Jaguar he drove.........In fact, I was less than that, because he cared a great deal more for his fancy toys then he did for me.
[Page 17 uncorrected proof]
The economy has crashed and Great Britain had to choose to be ruled by Germany and France, or break away. The choice was made and Great Britain broke away, but this plan soon ended up making Great Britain bankrupt, the final straw was breaking the UK apart, each country for themselves, and England closed its borders to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The punishment for trespassing into England without a visa was a tattoo placed on your face. Get caught again and already be branded is an instant death sentence.
Lizzie is a Celt, she was caught sleeping rough for one night and now has a tattoo branded on her cheek, she has no family to go home to and if she is caught again faces certain death. While her life with Alexander isn't exactly the life of luxury, it is a life of safety while Alexander deems her necessary.

Bombmaker was an explosive read, it kept me engrossed and wanting to read, to keep going till the last page. My heart pounded with every mission Lizzie was sent on, worried whether she would make it or not, and I don't think it slowed down during the last few chapters, even when I have finished reading I still can't rest fully. It can't have been that easy or that simple and I am pretty sure that what they think is a new life, is certainly not as safe as they expected.

Bombmaker is an unputdownable book that I could not read fast enough. The characters are either very likeable, or very easy to dislike and they all stand firmly in their category.

  • Lizzie has survived so much, and come so far from her meagre existence in Scotland. To live how she lives, under the rule of an egotistical, power hungry man, yet still come out fighting for her freedom is a sign of a true heroine.
  • Alexander leaves a lot to be desired, and while he has people falling all over him to do things for him, to jump to his every command, part of me wonders who actually wants to be there for the right reasons, and who is actually scared not to be there.
  • Samuel is Lizzie's rock throughout Bombmaker, however his unwavering loyalty to his brother makes it hard for Lizzie to see him as anything more than Alexander's brother, his henchman, and someone who she can't fully trust. As the story progress we see that Samuel can be loyal to people other than his brother, and he risks so much to keep Lizzie safe from harm, and from death.
I wish I had read Bombmaker sooner than I have so that I could actually have read and enjoyed this much sooner, but I am also glad I left it for a while, I leaves less waiting time for the next instalment which is being written right now
About Claire
Claire McFall's work is, in essence, all about first love and difficult decisions. Her novels take straightforward romantic narratives and hurl them into unusual and extreme settings, blurring accepted genre boundaries and creating new sub-genres of her own. She then charts her characters' reactions to these unfamiliar situations and the new and confusing feelings that beset them in a hyper-real, engaging, deeply poignant and literary manner. Claire is a teacher and lives in the Scottish Borders with her husband and she currently working on her next novel for Templar Fiction.

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1 comment:

  1. I've heard so many good things about this book and about Claire McFall's stories in general. I really need to be picking up something by her. And soon! Great review :)


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