The city authorities have abandoned the D-Zone as damaged beyond repair. It’s a no-go area where ongoing earthquakes threaten to destroy what’s left. But Jonah and Bas and everyone else trying to survive in the devastation there can’t leave—they’re ‘illegals’, without citizenship, without rights.
Jonah can see the quakes—before the ground shudders and grinds, before the buildings fall. Glimpsing is a rare ability and a great survival asset. It has attracted the attention of the entertainment company GlimpseCorp and the cult movement People for a New Nation. Both are desperate to control and cash in on this remarkable power.
When Bas joins People for a New Nation and disappears, Jonah knows his friend is in great danger. And he knows that GlimpseCorp, with its reality TV program, offers a way to save him—and a way to bring new hope to the people of the D-Zone.
But Jonah’s plan puts everything, including his own life, at risk.
Glimpse is a compelling adventure, an intriguing story of conflict, power, manipulation, love and friendship, set in richly imagined world that is in many ways very much like our own.
Jane Higgins’s dystopian YA debut The Bridge was the winner of the 2010 Text Prize, and her latest, Glimpse, has the same qualities that won Higgins the prize. Inspired by the author’s experience of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the novel is set in the Demolition Zone, a ruined area at the edge of a sprawling, unnamed city. The remaining inhabitants of the D-Zone stay because they cannot leave, having no papers to prove citizenship. The government has left them to survive among rubble and unstable buildings, aided only by the mysterious ability to foresee or ‘glimpse’ earthquakes developed by some of the inhabitants. A cult movement called People for a New Nation preys on the grief and fears of the people left in the D-Zone, while Glimpse Corp tries to find glimpsers to be on their reality television program, the Glimpse Show. Jonah, one of the strongest glimpsers in the D-Zone, is aware that both groups seek to capitalise on the anniversary of the first earthquake at the expense of the people of the D-Zone. As the date looms, Jonah enacts a thrilling plan to save his people. Glimpse recalls the conflict between the young and vulnerable, and adult institutions, at the heart of Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn. This is an ideal introduction to dystopian fiction for young teens as the engaging, thoughtful and elegantly written narrative has high stakes but no mature content.
The city authorities have abandoned the D-Zone as damaged beyond repair. It's a no-go area where ongoing quakes threaten to destroy what is left. But Jonah and Bas and everyone else trying to survive in the devastation there can't leave as they're 'illegal' without citizenship, without rights.
Jonah can 'glimpse', seeing the quakes before they hit. The rare ability attracts the attention of an entertainment company and a cult movement, both desperate to control and cash in on the power.
Author Jane Higgins lives in Christchurch and she draws on her experience of the Canterbury earthquakes in this high-action, compelling youth adult dystopian novel.
It is a fascinating and fast-paced story of conflict and power, manipulation and society, set in a richly imagined world. Her characters are well developed and have a strong sense of self. Jonah, and his partner Evie, are incredibly likeable and relatable. The pair have their flaws, make mistakes, but ultimately are driven by what is right, even when it seems hopeless.
The story arc of Shikha, the local Glimpse Corp scout, was a highlight. She is hopeful and ambitious, and sees the opportunity to make a name for herself when she teams up with Jonah. Higgins' character development is brilliant and subtle.
There are some wonderful themes embedded within the story - grief, self-esteem, hope, loyalty, to name but a few. It's a book that would make for a great classroom exploration, especially when paired with the realities of our world today.
Higgins sets a good pace with the story, drawing readers in with action. Higgins won the Text Prize with her debut novel The Bridge. The same uniqueness and style of that earlier book shines again Glimpse. Too often young adult books are loaded with unrealistic teenage protagonists who get caught up in 'romance'. Higgins instead stays focused on the story, on dystopia, on the politics in an age-appropriate way. Glimpse is another fire cracker from an author who draws inspiration from the real world to tell thrilling stories that will captivate readers.