Blame, by Simon Mayo

You can buy the book and read other reviews of it here.

I read this book because I really enjoyed the author’s previous books (the Itch trilogy), and I am glad I did. It’s an excellent book.

The book is set in a dystopian alternative present, in which a law has been passed meaning that if one of your ancestors has committed a crime and was never punished for it, you can be punished instead.  They call it ‘heritage crime’. So the prisons are full of people who haven’t done anything wrong, but might have gained something because their parents or grandparents did things wrong.  So there are even children in prison. When a riot breaks out in HMP London, the main characters know it’s their best chance to break free and escape.

The book is pretty tense most of the way through – the main characters are in danger or scared quite a lot of the time, but they all deal with it in different ways – some of them are really brave and resourceful and they look after each other.

There’s nothing really distinctive about how it’s written, but the story is really exciting, and keeps you wanting to read more. The basic idea isn’t anything I’ve come across before. It would suit a teenager, I think: there are a few swear words and it’s a bit grim in places, but an adult would probably want there to be more to it than just the idea and the story (and also the main characters are children).