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Glimpse (Jane Higgins, Text)

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.

Books+Publishing reviewer: Ilona Urquhart is a Children’s and Youth Services Librarian on the Bellarine Peninsula and has a PhD in Literary Studies. Books+Publishing is Australia’s number-one source of pre-publication book reviews.


Category: Junior Reviews