The Erasure Initiative (Lili Wilkinson, A&U)
Lili Wilkinson is a versatile, intelligent writer, and takes the psychological thriller to new heights in The Erasure Initiative. Cecily wakes up on a self-driving bus with six other people. None of them have any memory of who they are or how they got there. As the bus drives around an isolated jungle in seemingly endless circles, Cecily and her fellow passengers are forced to respond to a series of ethical problems where the stakes get higher and higher. Cecily is desperate to find out who she is, but the answers she gets might not be the ones she’s hoping for. This is clever writing that blends philosophy and ethics with high-stakes action. Wilkinson uses the trolley problem as the basis for the ethical challenges the passengers on the bus face, combining it with the suspense of their stolen memories and the escalating consequences of their choices to create nail-biting tension. Wilkinson always writes with teens in mind, and The Erasure Initiative is no exception. This gripping thriller with its cast of feisty, complicated characters is an absolute feast for the brains and imaginations of its readers.
Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne writer and academic, and the schools programmer at the Wheeler Centre.