London has been abandoned by the rest of the world. For generations now, London has been ruled by two warring gang lords, the Volsons, controlled by Val and his four children, and their rival, Conor. Now, Val plans to marry off his only daughter to Conor to form a treaty between the two. Val dreams that with the humans united, they will be able to break through the circle of halfman that surround London and move out into the world. At first, it seems that the treaty might actually work, but there's always the danger of betrayal...
So, first off, this was not a fantasy book, which makes me curious as to why it was on my fantasy book list. It is a dystopia novel with science fiction elements. Nothing fantasy about it. The halfman have been created through science, essentially test tube creations, mixing humans with animals. Other than that, straight dystopia. Curious.
So aside from the fact it wasn't a fantasy book, how was it? Ermm...bloody. Very, very bloody. Which I guess I should have been expecting, what with it being called Bloodtide and all. Well. It sure delivered on the blood. Thousands upon thousands of people dying. In unpleasant ways. Most of the time, it was just the regular civilians being caught up in the war. Sometimes it was the more main characters being eaten alive by monster pigs. That one was particularly unpleasant. *shudder* So, yes, very bloody.
It was also filled with unpleasant characters. Signy, Val's daughter who gets married off to Conor, pretty much goes crazy and is so focused on her vengeance and that the world will come back to Volson power, she switches bodies with her shape-shifting cat so she can have sex with her twin brother, unbeknownst to him, so that there can be a pure-blood Volson baby. Round about that point things got too weird for me.
Siggy, Signy's twin brother, sits around for ten years while London crumbles, halfman get slaughtered, humans die in huge numbers cause he doesn't wanna join the resistance. Then he finally does and gets all the power, because he's the man.
And then, pretty much, the end. So. Melvin Burgess is a British writer, and I wonder if his books are very popular there. They don't seem to have caught on so much here. Despite the blurb on the cover that says, "A dystopian vision that will rank with the twentieth-century classics!" Well, it is from The Sunday Telegraph.