Thursday, 22 December 2011

Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman


I loved Noughts and Crosses a lot, so I was very much anticipating the sequel, Knife Edge. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did its predecessor, but it was still an excellent story nonetheless. This time we focus on Sephy and Jude, Callum’s older brother. Jude is on the run for being a member of the Liberation Militia whilst Sephy is struggling to cope following the birth of her and Callum’s child, Callie Rose; Sephy discovers something that shakes her world whilst Jude lets his heart rule his mind with consequences that will once again link the two…

Blackman has a way of writing so that you are literally inseparable from her words, no matter the actual plot; it was a bit slow and non-eventful in places, but I was still gripped. I had a few more niggles with Knife Edge than I did Noughts and Crosses – I didn’t really like the colour associations at start of each section or the song lyrics, although I did like newspaper snippets. It was refreshing to find the points of view being genuinely different, unlike some other novels I could name, and each character is really well developed and unique, which was something else refreshing to encounter.

The plot was very good, with a few nice twists, but I felt it lacked a bit of the intensity that we saw in Noughts and Crosses, and it doesn’t quite have the same impact, and is a lot bleaker; perhaps though it is suffering from ‘Middle Book Syndrome’ to set up for the final two books, which I’m sure will continue the brilliance.

Blackman superbly carries on her Noughts and Crosses series, and I highly recommend you start reading this brilliant, powerful and thought-provoking series it if you haven’t already – I cannot wait to read Checkmate!
[SYNOPSIS: Sephy is a Cross, one of the privileged in a society where the ruling Crosses treat the pale-skinned noughts as inferiors. But her baby daughter has a nought father - Callum. Eaten up with bitterness, Callum's brother Jude, blames Sephy for the terrible losses his family has suffered. Now Jude's life rests on a knife edge. Will Sephy be forced, once again, to take sides?]


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