"Oh, come on, Jude. My feet are killing me," Morgan moaned.
–Malorie Blackman - Knife edge - c.2004 - pg.13
This continues pretty much where Noughts & Crosses finished up. If you haven’t read that one you really have no business reading this book. It won’t make a lot of sense to you, not to mention you’ll know how the first book ends, and you won’t know the characters at all. Have I convinced you to go read the first yet? Good, off you go.
Now, if you thought that Noughts & Crosses was depressing and dark, I’m guessing that you’ll feel this one is simply a black-hole of despair. Where is the hope? Where is the faintest of bright endings? Cause, wow, darkness is all around.
Spoilers for book one follow
And yet the writing is so perfect. How else can you manage to explain the fact that I felt sympathy and, in a weird way, empathised Show Spoiler ▼
I’m just really hoping that the third book has some sort of happiness to it.
As I said earlier, this starts up where book 1 finished, with the birth of Callie Rose, and deals with Sephy’s life as a single mother. She has moved out of the family home, away from her domineering and absent father. Escaping her drunken mother and her bitchy older sister. But how is she supposed to live with no money, no job, and a child to raise?
Luckily for Sephy her mother sobers up and tries to help out. As does Meggie, Callum’s mother. But there is little that either of them can really do. They can help with a place to live, or with food and money, but how can they help her deal with her grief over the death of Callum? How can they help her with her guilt over his execution? And what can they possibly do to help her daughter find a place in society, Callie Rose is neither black nor white. She is of mixed heritage, will either community accept her when there is so much hatred and “othering” out there.
I have to admire Blackman for creating such a depressing book that is so easy to read, and easy to relate to. There are plenty of misunderstandings and miscommunications in this book, but it is in a believable way. But it is so bleak and brutal.