Line by Niall Bourke

Thank you to Anne Carter and Tramp Press for allowing me to participate in this blog tour. All views my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Imagine that all you know is that you have to wait. You have to sit patiently in the Line until you reach your destination. You know as well that if you step out of the Line, you forfeit your place in it, and that there isn’t anything left out there just wild animals that are waiting, just like you, for their next meal. What would you do? Would you go against the instincts instilled in you ever since you were born that you have to remain in the Line? Or would you throw away all the sacrifices of the ones before you, and go into the unknown with the hope that it will be worth it.

To those who don’t know, dystopia holds a very deep place in my heart. There was one summer when all I read was dystopia and I craved more. It wasn’t some sick fascination with suffering but a need to see characters overcome the biggest challenges that a person could: their own limitations.

After reading Line, I’m happy to say that this is one of the best dystopia that I’ve read since The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. If you have read a dystopian novel before you know how important the story elements are in this genre. There needs to be enough promise, enough trouble and enough character development but most importantly there needs to be a worthy pay off and a satisfying ending to the story. And with Line, I can confirm that this checks all the boxes.

A horrifying tale bringing patience and overcoming the herd mentality to the forefront complemented by beautiful writing that will make a lasting impression on anyone who dares to open the cover, makes Line by Niall Bourke a stand-out.

The story develops from two points of view but we mainly follow Willard who has been born and raised in the Line. He knows what would happen if he would leave the Line. It even happened to his father. And to a certain degree Willard doesn’t mind this. He has his routine, collecting rations, caring for his mother but then something unexpected happens. The Line moves.

The story takes twists and turns and Bourke manages to captivate his readers by his unique writing style. Each sentence carries weight and if anything the tone to the story is set from the very beginning. Through out reading this book I felt more like someone telling me a story. A story that coincidentally I heard a couple of times from my parents from their experience during the communist period in Eastern Europe and how they used to be sent to wait in a line for hours for things that we now consider easily accessible.

Even after closing the cover to this book, I couldn’t find a fault to this story. There are many dystopian novels where at the end I would’ve like to change something. Especially the ending. But with Line, I feel that all the check boxes have been ticked and this book has the potential to be a classic in the dystopian genre without sacrificing its uniqueness or its authenticity. Definitely will be recommending this to everyone I know.

Thank you to Anne Carter who organised this tour and who introduced me to this marvelous book. Thank you to Tramp Press for bringing this book into the world and hopefully to many more to come. I would encourage anyone to go out and give this book a try because if anything this will be an eye opener and I would love to hear what you thought about Line.

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