Way Down Dark

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Space­ship turns pres­sure cooker

Re­lease Date: 2 July

288 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: JP Smythe Pub­lisher: Hod­der & Stoughton

There’s not a lot of

hu­mour in Way Down Dark. The only thing that even re­motely counts as a gag only op­er­ates on a meta level – it’s not char­ac­ters telling each other knock knock jokes, just the reader re­al­is­ing, “Oh, that’s why…!”

A post- apoc­a­lyp­tic YA novel, it’s set on a gen­er­a­tional space­ship sent from a dy­ing Earth which has de­gen­er­ated into a vi­o­lent pres­sure cooker of war­ring fac­tions.

Ex­tremely vi­o­lent, hard- boiled stuff, it’s ex­cit­ing and grip­ping too. And though grim, it’s not un­re­lent­ing or emo­tion­ally ma­nip­u­la­tive. It’s a tale of the hu­man spirit and why it’s im­por­tant to carry on fight­ing.

It also sails through the Bechdel test, with a cast of com­pelling, mul­ti­lay­ered fe­male char­ac­ters mak­ing the men look ut­terly point­less. Dave Golder

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