Friday is here at bloody last, the last Friday of the agonisingly long month, known as January. I’m currently making my way through a TBR pile of books written by women, in a personal challenge to myself to read more books by female authors. Sealed by Naomi Booth is my 3rd review for this blog but out of 10 reads this month (at time of writing this), 8 have been written bu female authors. You can find some of the other reviews over at The Reading Closet.
So, Sealed was published by Dead Ink Press in. I saw a fellow blogger flag it up on Twitter as a read that she absolutely wanted to get her hands on, it also tickled my reading pickle so I purchased my own copy and pretty much devoured it in one sitting. It’s under 300 pages and just so effortless to read. I’d categorise it under dystopian female fiction,which for me was a solid 3.5 stars. You can check out the blurb below:
Timely and suspenseful, Sealed is a gripping modern fable on motherhood. A terrifying portrait of ordinary people under threat from their own bodies and from the world around them. With elements of speculative fiction and the macabre, this is also an unforgettable story about a mothers fight to survive. Heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete are done with the city. Above all, Alice is haunted by the rumours of the skin sealing epidemic starting to infect the urban population. Surely their new remote mountain house will offer safety, a place to forget the nightmares and start their little family. But the mountains and their people hold a different kind of danger. With their relationship under intolerable pressure, violence erupts and Alice is faced with the unthinkable as she fights to protect her unborn child.
As I’ve already said, this book peaked my interest when I saw it on Twitter, I was immediately drawn in by not only the blurb but that stunning cover – one of my favourites! I read it quickly and it was a good read between more intensely hefty books, it also left me with quite a bit to think about, including what effects pollutants in the environment actually has on our bodies.
The narrative of the book is told from the point of view of Alice, who is pregnant with her first child and has moved to a rural town with her partner after worrying they’ll become victim to a mysterious biological epidemic sweeping through densely populated areas. An epidemic when individual’s skin begins to seal over. Scary, right? For me, I felt the prickles of goosebumps as I wondered whether the POV was from an unreliable source, possibly from a woman who was experiencing some kind prenatal psychotic breakdown with aspects of paranoia and hallucinations – triggered by a stressful tragic event.
The characters found within this book felt like stereotypical country ‘bumpkins’ but with a less friendly air about them, they were hardened but that did add to my puzzling over the storyline. Did they know something? What was going on? I became even more perplexed by Alice’s character as the book went on, originally she came across as intelligent, organised etc but she became more scatty, naive and frustrating with every chapter. This being said, the misconceptions of her character did captivate me further into the novel, and the horror element, although subtle at times was very much there, some areas had me holding my breath as I read!
Overall, I did enjoy Sealed and would absolutely reccomended it to readers of environmental and female dystopian. Is that a thing? The narrative touches on the subject of motherhood, including the urge to protect the small human that is growing within your own body, as well as the fear of bringing this pure soul into an unhealthy world full of uncontrollable aspects. It really does make you think what will. Ecome of the environment and how it could affect furtire generations. A great concept, that’s well written and easy to follow.
So there’s my review, if Sealed is a novel that you’d be interested in reading, it’s available in paperback, kindle and audiobook formats. I’ve included links where you can purchase it below.
Amazon / Waterstones / Book Depository
Until next time, Happy reading!