Monday, 4 October 2010

Pastworld - Ian Beck

Pastworld by Ian Beck was released in paperback (UK) on 5th July 2010. It was published by Bloomsbury and is 368 pages long. Thanks to the publishers for sending me a copy for review!

In 2050, tourist attractions are completely different from what we know today. Pastworld is a city within a city, designed as a theme park of the past. Pastworld is as close to authentic as a recreation of Victorian England can be. Everyone in Pastworld, including visitors must play the part and truly act as if they were living in Victorian times. The laws are the same, clothes are the same and there is no technology.

Eve has lived in Pastworld for as long as she can remember. She doesn’t even know that Pastworld isn’t real. When a strange visitor comes calling on her and her carer, Jack, Eve knows that something is wrong and runs away to join the circus and only then does she realise that her whole life has been a lie.

Caleb came to Pastworld as a tourist with his father who was on business. In a dark alleyway, something terrible happens and Caleb witnesses a murder and the abduction of her father. Forced to run, Caleb is forced to deal with a world that he is far from used to. He has no idea who to trust and soon finds himself in trouble and on a path which leads him to Eve. They have a feeling that they know each other from somewhere but how can they?

Victorian England wouldn’t be quite right without someone lurking in the shadows though would it?

What I thought
Pastworld was one of the first books that I received from Bloomsbury for review and to be honest, when I read what it was about, I wasn’t very sure that I was going to enjoy it. I do love being proved wrong though and I’m really happy to say that Ian Beck managed to do this.

To start with, the cover is stunning and really sums up the story well. Just looking at it I can imagine being taken back to Victorian England and being terrified by strange people lurking in the alleyways. It certainly set the scene well for what I was about to read.

It did take me a little while to really get into the story due to the constant changing of POV but after the first couple of chapters, I was hooked. Pastworld really focuses on the story and what is happening in different places rather than have really well developed characters. Although I liked Eve and felt sorry for her situation, I didn’t feel as though I knew enough about her or what she was feeling. There were times after she joined the circus that I wanted more of an explanation for her actions and more emotion from her but as the book continued, I realised it was written this way for a reason.

There are quite a lot of characters in Pastworld due to the different POV’s but I never found it hard to keep up with who was who and what they were doing. There is quite a wide variety of characters and personalities which was something I really enjoyed. Some are from the real world and some are a true part of Pastworld so their ideas and morals are completely different at times.

The Fantom was a fantastic villain and truly gives Jack the Ripper a run for his money. Knowing that this is a YA novel, I was extremely surprised at just how gory some of his scenes were. I wasn’t expecting this at all but I actually quite liked it. Ian Beck wasn’t afraid to make his Victorian England as real as possible and something of this nature was very believable. The Fantom is really mysterious and creepy and I loved that about him. I was always guessing what he was up to and why until the very end of the book.

The idea behind the story was what forced me to give this book a chance. Of all the times to base a theme park on, Ian Beck chose Victorian England. I can only imagine how different it is compared to 2050 where some of the book is set. It also got me thinking if I would want to go there if it was possible and I’m not so sure I would. Maybe not in Ian Beck’s Pastworld anyway. I don’t know how safe I would feel going back to a time where punishments were so harsh (and didn’t have the internet or phones) but the fact that his characters paid a lot of money to go there was fantastic.

The story overall was mysterious and exciting throughout. I’m finding it really hard to say anything at all about the story though because this review would be FULL of spoilers and I don’t want to do that. I guess what you really need to know is that I loved this book and it definitely has to go into Heaven. There is so much that is good about Pastworld and I highly recommend it.
Just because I loved it so much, I thought I would include the trailer for Pastworld! 

1 comment:

Midnyte Reader said...

This sounds like something I would absolutely love! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

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