THE SIGN OF ONE
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
released 7 April 390 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author Eugene Lambert Publisher Electric Monkey
Sometimes you don’t need
to reinvent the wheel, just make a really, really good wheel. Debut novelist Eugene Lambert merrily delivers a whole bunch of YA tropes in a classic three- act structure with The Sign Of One, but he does it with style, wit, pace and a strong central premise.
Kyle is an unexceptional kid growing up on a harsh, totalitarian, dumping- ground planet for back- of- the- queue human colonists, where twins are reviled. One out of every pair will become an evil monster during adolescence, so young twins are forced into labour camps until the signs start showing; then the evil twin is killed and the other becomes an outcast. When Kyle is shot in the face, but recovers, his mum has something she needs to tell him…
Yes, there’s a bit of a “chosen one” vibe, but don’t groan. There’s a twist. It’s not a destiny anyone would want to be chosen for. And there are a lot more surprises too.
The Sign Of One is wonderfully gruesome in places, and benefits from scarred, laconic and selfish but ultimately likeable heroes. And now the standard setting- up devices have been ticked off, it’ll be very interesting to see where the series goes next.
Two of the resistance leaders are called Ballard and LeGuin, surely in tribute to authors JG Ballard and Ursula Le Guin.