Thursday 9 February 2023

The Forcing by Paul E Hardisty BLOG TOUR #TheForcing @Hardisty_Paul @OrendaBooks #BookReview


Civilisation is collapsing. Frustrated and angry after years of denial and inaction, a 'government of youth' has taken power in North America, and deemed all those older than a prescribed age responsible for the current state of the world, and decreed they should be 'relocated', their property and assets confiscated.

David Ashworth, known by his friends and students as Teacher, and his wife May, find themselves among the thousands being moved to ‘new accommodation’ in the abandoned southern deserts – thrown together with a wealthy industrialist and his wife, a high court lawyer, two recent immigrants to America, and a hospital worker. Together, they must come to terms with their new lives in a land rendered unrecognisable.

As the terrible truth of their situation is revealed, lured by rumours of a tropical sanctuary where they can live in peace, they plan a perilous escape. But the world outside is more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And for those who survive, nothing will ever be the same again…

The Forcing by Paul E Hardisty is published on 16 February 2023 by Orenda Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour. 

The Forcing is a book that lingers in the head long after the final page is turned. I read it with a sense of growing horror, and also the realisation that although this can be classed as speculative, dystopian fiction, every single word of it could come true. In fact, some of this is already happening. Paul E Hardisty is one of the world's leading environmental scientists, so there are very few people more qualified than him to write this novel. 

One could expect that a novel written by a scientist may be a little technical, or stuffy, or maybe a little long-winded. The Forcing is completely the opposite to this, this author writes with a beauty and style that is at time quite lyrical and moving. He has created a cast of characters, set in a dying world that no reader can help but to love.

So, our world is teetering on the edge of disaster. Huge continents are underwater and wars are raging in others. North America is now under the control of a Government made up of young people, and they know exactly who to blame for the disasters that are happening. It's the older generation, those people who treated the planet with no concern, those people who used fossil fuels and filled the earth with materials that cannot be broken down. These older people will be relocated. Anyone born before a certain date must move away to a designated area, where they can no longer do any harm. 

David 'Teacher' Ashworth is one of those older people. A well-liked teacher, he's well aware of what his generation have created and reluctantly accepts that he has to leave. His wife, on the other hand, is bitter and twisted. She doesn't feel responsible, or old enough to be part of the problem. What makes this so much more difficult for them is that their son is a high-ranking Government official ... they are being banished by their own child. 

Paul E Hardisty takes the reader on their journey, we accompany them and their travelling companions to what can only be classed as a labour camp. We then join them as they try to make their escape, a treacherous, dangerous journey, and that's not just because they may get caught, it's also because not all of the travellers have the same aim for the end of this journey. 

This is a stunning novel, one that raises so many questions, and readers cannot deny the answers that they find. The description of the collapsed world, and the devastation created by humans is eye opening and quite terrifying. Hardisty's characters are incredibly well created, both the heroes and the villains of the story are robust and well-rounded; totally relatable and full of colour. 

The Forcing is an incredibly important novel. I got a real Atwood vibe from it. It is incredible, so moving, so frightening, action packed but full of humility and intelligence. Highly recommended.

Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent twenty-five years working all over the world as an environmental scientist and freelance journalist. 

He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a in 1993, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen at the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. 
In 2022 he criss-crossed Ukraine reporting on the Russian invasion. 

Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear, Reconciliation for the Dead and Absolution, all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and
a Telegraph Book of the Year. 

Paul drew on his own experiences to write Turbulent Wake, an extraordinary departure from his high-octane, thought-provoking thrillers. 

Paul is a keen outdoorsman, a conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.

No comments:

Post a Comment