Title: Noble Conflict
Author: Malorie Blackman
As a fan of Malorie Blackman, I know she has a skill for creating entire fictional worlds, such as the fantastic ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series for example. This book is based on a Totalarian world in which Guardians protect the Alliance from the Insurgents who work for the Crusaders and attempt to attack the Alliance. Kaspar is a new young Guardian, determined to fight for his country and protect the people from the vicious terrorists. However in his role of Guardianship he discovers things he had never realised, and begins to question his own knowledge of the world he lives in and the system by which his life and the lives of his entire country are run. He decides to try and find a pattern to the movements and attacks made by the insurgents, some stealing information before committing suicide while others are blowing up large areas of cities killing innocent people and children. However as he becomes more involved his own comrades and leaders appear more opposed to him, Kaspar feels he is in far too deep.
However, with the help of Mackensie, a young librarian full of sharp wit and bright ideas, he uncovers a series of data which suggests the movements of the insurgents may not be as simple and unorganised as they are made out to be. He is burning with questions, none of which are answered by the High Councillor and or his Guardian leader Voss. In fact the more he discovers, the more he is pushed away. Then he discovers something he wished he never had. The Guardians use stun-guns as the Alliance refuses to sink to the level of the Crusaders by means of slaughter; therefore the Insurgents are checked for injuries then sent to a holding station. Or so they had been told. Yet Kaspar finds thousands of these people, shot by him and the other guardians, who should have recovered unharmed, on life support and covered in scars in the supposedly abandoned North Wing at the Guardian’s hospital. The confusion increases after meeting Rhea, an insurgent who saves his life as after he meets her he begins to have vivid dreams and he fears he may be able to experience her thoughts and emotions. Kaspar struggles on his path to find the truth: is he on the side on noble conflict?
Another gripping action packed thriller from one of my favourite authors, Noble Conflict uses an imaginary world to address issues which are very significant today and have been throughout history. The horror of the Totalarian State seems so distant to us, so impossible, but this book examines the idea of complete manipulation and control of an entire society. It also includes elements of romance, friendship and national belonging and examines the terrible realisation of the truth as the entire world falls to pieces. As a character Kaspar is likeable and obviously intelligent and therefore he displays how easily a society can be controlled if the influence is so great that no one dares to question what they have been told.
I would fully recommend this book!