Terry Tyler is one of my favourite authors. This is all the more important to me as she is rightly proud of her indie status and self-publishes her books online with Amazon.
Hope is a short, punchy novel set in a plausible future but anchored very much in the present by its savage treatment of our shallow corporate culture underpinned by vacuous social media. The book extrapolates our current obsession with celebrity, self-promotion and tacky corporate trend-hijacking into a sinister future where the prime minister is a social icon, his wife is the kind of ghastly celeb whose shallow, manipulative pronouncements are relayed around the world as sacred truths, while both scarcely try to hide their deep involvement with a corporate well-being giant seemingly determined to take over the world.
The book follows a likeable protagonist, Lita Stone, a successful lifestyle blogger with a wonderfully acerbic take on her culture. Lita reads like a 21st Century Holden Caulfield without the whiny voice and social hang-ups. Make no mistake, Hope is savage where it comes to the fakery we almost take for granted now. This narrator spares no smarmy corporate flim-flam or money grubbing disguised as faux sentiment – they all get chewed by Lita’s incisive, no-nonsense observations and leave us in no doubt that 2030s Britain will be fully surrendered to the sinister corporate vision of a society that needs to work to survive, never mind succeed.
Speaking of observations, one of the reasons I find Tyler so entertaining as a writer is her unique gift of creating characters with a single gesture, minor detail or two-line conversation. She retains a remarkable ability to observe characters and situations to immediately create impressions of place, personality and situation which draw the reader in.
I won’t say anymore about the story as it really needs to be read. Suffice to say, this is a five star story well up to the standard I’ve come to enjoy from the author of the Tipping Point trilogy.