Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Wednesday 27th August – Tuesday 28th October (63 days)
11 morning, 1 afternoon, 9 evening, 1 night.
I’ve read this before – I really like Scarlett Thomas’s work, and as an added bonus she often writes stories based where I live…
The book follows Alice, an employee of PopCo – a big toy company. She is off on a retreat with the company to a remote mansion in Devon to create the next new craze for kids. Alice has an unusual past as her grandparents, who raised her, were cryptanalysts. She creates crossword puzzles, and a spy kit for kids.
Alice struggles with the commercialism and ethics of PopCo, and over the course of her time at the retreat she gets involved with people with similar thinking to her, and there is a subplot about her parents and grandparents involving codes and hidden treasure.
I love this book, it’s full of intrigue and interesting ideas about the media and big corporations, as well as the sub plot about coding, puzzles, Bletchley Park and the hidden treasure… despite Alice’s belief in homeopathy, I really like her and her development of character, I find her and the friends she makes at the retreat interesting, and the arguments, discussions and themes brought up in the book are pretty enthralling too. I had left it long enough to not quite remember bits of the story, and found it just as good as the first time I read it.
Next book: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion