Publisher: Chicken House
Released: July 4th 2011
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
For Cass, the life of a 'scav' is all she’s ever known – scavenging what’s left of London in search of a precious relic no-one, not even her new Russian masters, has ever seen.
But when two survivors from another time show up, claiming they hold the key to the whereabouts of the missing ‘artefact’, scavving will never be the same again. They have six days to find it before their world will come to an end.
A gripping post-apocalyptical adventure set in the ruins of London about a desperate race to find a relic of extraordinary power. Spectacular science-fiction debut from Philip Webb. (from Goodreads)
Six Days is an intriguing mix of genres – it’s a dystopian, with elements of sci-fi, and the two are very cleverly tied together. The world Philip Webbs creates for us is very different from anything see today – set some time in the future, London is no longer the buzzing capital city it was, but is now just a crumbling wreckage of buildings left over from the Quark Wars, where most people were killed by bio-bombs. Now, the survivors are forced to do “scav” work; they must search through every building, leaving no stone unturned, looking for the mysterious “artefact”. No-one knows what the artefact is, or even what it looks like, but job of the scavs is to find it and turn it over to the Vlads (the rulers of the city) as soon as it’s discovered. Cass thinks they’ll never find the artefact, but her younger brother, Wilbur, is convinced he knows where it is. When Wilbur’s crazy schemes lead him and Cass to two strangers, obviously not from London, slowly the mysteries of the artefact begin to unfold. But with answers comes danger, and Cass, Wilbur and newcomers Peyto and Erin must find the artefact in six days – before it’s too late.
Six Days was an enjoyable book with a very interesting concept. I found it a bit slow to start, but really started to get into it after the first few chapters, where it became much more plot-driven. The main character, Cass, was instantly likeable. The story was told in first person from her point of view, and she used a lot of slang that took a bit of getting used to, but I really, really liked her, and warmed to her immediately. There was something very genuine about her – like she couldn’t be fake if she tried – and she was so funny as well, and also very caring; you could tell she really loved her brother Wilbur, even though she teased him a lot of the time. She had been brought up as a scav, and couldn’t read (or write, I assume), but despite this, she was very clever, and could piece things together very quickly, and often spotted or realised things that the others didn’t. She was good at coming up with plans to help everyone, or get them out of trouble, and she always tried to make the best of situations, which I thought was brave of her.
The two outsiders, Peyto and Erin, were also great to read about. They had been brought up completely differently to Cass and her brother, so a lot of things were very strange to them – for example, the very concept of eating meat was disgusting and something they hadn’t even thought of before . While Peyto managed to adapt to most things, Erin struggled a lot more – even when she was starving, she only ate biscuits, and she missed her home and family a lot which made her eager to find the artefact so she could see them again. Wilbur seemed to find Erin and Peyto fascinating, and initially was a lot more keen to help than Cass was, but as they all got to know each other, I think they started to become friends and grew closer.
Possibly the most interesting character was Maleeva, the daughter of an important woman in the Vlads, who only showed up nearer the end. She seemed wise beyond her years, and was willing to sacrifice a lot to help these people she barely knew, which I thought was courageous of her, and also very kind of her to do. Things also started to speed up when she arrived, and there was a lot of action going on which surrounded her. I did feel that towards the end, things did perhaps happen too quickly, and I had to re-read a few bits to grasp what was going on. I did like the ending though, and it was left quite open, which I hope means there will be another book!
Overall, Six Days was a great combination of sci-fi and dystopian, with a storyline that will never leave you bored. I would recommend it to anyone fans of either or both genres, and if there’s going to be a sequel, then I look forward to reading it! :)