On behalf of Zoe at https://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/zooloos-blog-tours and Olga Gibbs, I am excited and honoured today to be reviewing No Child of Mine. Thank you to Olga Gibbs for a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
“No Child of Mine” is a story of a father’s journey to save his child from a totalitarian regime, who is in order to bury the truth prepared to exterminate an entire generation.
57th Year of the true leadership of The Ordained Liberating Party; or Year 2273 by the old calendar.
“The Collapse” took millions of lives and most of the country’s farming lands, bringing the surviving population of the island to the brink of starvation.
Out of the aftermath of the chaos and anarchy, a new state had emerged, known as The Federation Britannia, run by the single and unopposed Ordained Liberating Party.
The division of the country’s orphanages for children of “the true citizens” and children of “the enemies of the state” began the clearance of the questionable element, and bloody years of the Age of Cleansing had finished the purge, leaving behind a perfectly obedient electorate that marched every year in the Liberation Day parades, praising the Party’s leadership and following the Party’s every directive.
The rule of the Party is absolute. Its tool of compliance, the State Security Unit, is feared.
Tom isn’t a frightened follower, he is a true believer. He loves the Party with all his heart. He trusts in the Party’s wisdom. The Party had raised him, rewarding his devotion and love with a lucrative engineering job, and after the approval for the Procreation licence, it also granted him a family.
But the unexpected midnight visit by the State Security to his flat, questions asked and blood samples collected, unsettles Tom more than he likes to admit, and the following day, whilst investigating the “black uniforms” interest, Tom witnesses the State Security troops, led by the familiar officer, marshalling the children from his daughter’s nursery, packing them into trucks and taking them into the unknown.
At that moment Tom is forced to make a decision: either to follow the Party directive and to surrender his child into its plenary care or to protect what he loves and run.
But there’s nowhere to run. There’s no escape from the island or from the complete control of the Ordained Liberating Party.
Well, I have to say that Olga has completely smashed it out of the park. I was so excited but also a little apprehensive about reading a political thriller. It’s not my usually reading genre (I do like dystopian through) and I was a little worried about it being too difficult for me to understand or follow. There was absolutely no need and for anyone who may be feeling the same upon reading the synopsis – I implore you to put the fears aside and dive in because it honestly flows and reads so easily – for me it was like being part of a film that played flawlessly in my head.
Olga Gibbs has extensive knowledge and experience of the USSR and the politics they have experienced through the decades. This shines through strongly as a basis for No Child of Mine. She has created a terrifying look into a potential future reality and it is not good! I mean…the creation and scene setting is bloody excellent but the idea that we could find ourselves living this way in the not too distant future is utterly mind blowing. The more Tom ventured into the politics and real reasons for things – the more intense and horrifying things became.
What really touched a nerve with me personally was the treatment of children and families and how they were expected to behave and act. I work with young people and have a good understanding of trauma and the impact on development, and I was so affected by this aspect.
I loved how Tom was so devoted and dedicated to his party but it took something uneasy to make him begin questioning everything. He really rose to protecting his child and went against everything he knew. There were times when his resolve wavered and the brainwashing of his past started to seep through. I love how Olga has used her knowledge of mental health to demonstrate how Tom would cope with such a dichotomy and conflict between his head and heart.
I read this book and was regularly holding my breath. The whole concept and narrative is intense and frightening but I couldn’t look away and just had to keep on reading.
So many others have compared this book to 1984 however I cannot as I haven’t read it so instead, 1984 is on my list and I shall now be seeing if it holds up to the amazing No Child of Mine. It’s no secret that I adored the Celestial Creatures series but I have to say No Child of Mine is just a whole other level and superbly written. Highly recommended.
Author Bio – Olga Gibbs
Olga Gibbs is a mental health expert who has experience of working with disturbance in adolescents and young people. Using her Masters in Creative Writing, she explores taboo topics such as borderline personality and social effective disorder, effects of abuse and insecure attachment in young people and the inner world which is so rarely spoken about. She was born and raised in USSR and now lives in UK. Olga Gibbs is also a creative writing coach and mentor. Please visit author website http://www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.
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