I can’t actually remember where I got hold of this. I think I won it in a game of literary bingo? If not, then it was the Book Fairy (but I don’t think it was her…?).
Anyway, for a mystery book on my TBR pile, I quite enjoyed this! It’s YA fiction, and the first part of a series – set in a dystopian not-too-distant future, everything is pretty hunky dory until a catastrophic collection of natural disasters hit, and the not-so-natural consequences that come with it (e.g. chemical leaks, looting etc). Fourteen kids are trapped/hiding out in a shopping mall, trying to ride out the (literal and figurative) storm – fun for the first few hours, and then the reality of the situation hits home. Unusually for dystopian future novels, we actually join the story before the world-changing disaster hits, and follow the characters as everything they know changes, making this a combination disaster novel and dystopian future novel.
It’s an interesting change – usually in this type of genre fiction, something has gone catastrophically wrong with the world, but it happened a few decades to a few hundred years before the story is set, meaning our characters never remember the world before. It changes the feeling of what you’re reading; instead of battling the status quo to try and find a better way (i.e. The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Breathe, the Shadowhunters books… I could go on), our protagonists are fighting to return to the status quo, to the happy, stable life they remember – at least, in this first of the series they are.
Ultimately, this isn’t the best example of the genre I’ve come across, but it was very easy to read and kept me turning the pages. I’ll almost certainly lookout the subsequent books in the series at some point.