by George Miller
Medlar Press, 2010
Jason Brockhurst is an intrepid British explorer. When he catches a glimpse of the mysterious city of Zinn, he has to try to get there – and when he does his life is soon in danger.
In some respects this book resembles an old-fashioned adventure story for boys. The exploration of mountains and caverns, the hairs-breadth escapes from death, the thrill of primitive flying machines, the relentless enemy and the strong male bonding between Jason and his friend, Scottie: these might prompt thoughts of Buchan, Haggard or W E Johns. Other elements, though, are of the present; strong female characters; concern for young people and the world their elders bequeath to them; and awareness of the natural environment.
This is not a pacifist sermon. Jason’s rejection of war as policy, his conviction that injustice must be resisted, but with the minimum of violence, only emerges late in the book. Nor is it merely an adventure yarn. There are pauses to explain the science and engineering, or to reflect on the history and philosophy, which pertain to the story and give it substance.
George Miller has produced a rich fantasy tale, but also one which sheds thought-provoking light on the real world.