SAND. A hostile world of burning sun.
Outlines of several once-busy cities shimmer on the horizon. Now empty of inhabitants, their buildings lie in ruins.
In the distance a group of people – a family – walk towards us.
Ahead lies shelter: a ‘shuck’ the family call home and which they know they must reach before the light fails, as to be out after dark is to invite danger and almost certain death.
To survive in this alien world of shifting sand, they must find an object hidden in or near water. But other families want it too. And they are willing to fight to the death to make it theirs.
It is beginning to rain in Fairfax County, Virginia when McKenzie Strathie wakes up. An ordinary teenage girl living an ordinary life – except that the previous night she found a sand-lizard in her bed, and now she’s beginning to question everything around her, especially who she really is …
Two very different worlds featuring a group of extraordinary characters driven to the very limit of their endurance in a place where only the strongest will survive.
I will start this by saying that I haven’t finished reading this yet – I’ve been slow reading recently, my reading mojo was hit when we lost our old cat towards the end of last year, now I have kittens taking up my time instead!
I am however well over halfway through, and really enjoying this book. It’s a dual timeline story, partly set modern day with teenage McKenzie who lives in Virginia but dream of sand dunes and deserts like that’s where she belongs.
The other timeline follows a group of people, a ‘family’ seemingly randomly brought together who have to solve what is essentially a massive, complicated treasure hunt, competing against other ‘family’ teams. They have 12 tries to find the Sarkpont or something undisclosed to the reader or most of the family, but definitely horrific, will happen to them.
Both timelines are intriguing and I don’t find myself preferring one over the other as can sometimes happen. As the story continues we get to learn more about the family, how they came to be together and the relationships that have established between them.
McKenzie is also fascinating, and I really feel for her, I just want her to work everything out and be happy.
The descriptions of the sand and desert living in this book are so vivid, you can really feel the heat and the sand caking everything. This truly is a book of sand.
I’m really looking forwards to reading the rest of this book and seeing what revelations are coming next.
The Book of Sand is available now.
With thanks to Century Books for sending me a copy for blog tour in exchange for honest review.