I write for young people. Sometimes, I write stories aimed at adults, but the best ones always have young people at heart. They also tend to switch between fantasy and reality such as my latest story, The Objectors, a Young Adult (YA) dystopian novel, with illustrations by Seraphim Bryant.
The year is 2042. England is cut-off from the former UK, Europe and the world. As resources dwindle, The Entitlement Party creates a devastating scheme to reduce the population. On their sixteenth birthday, young people of underling class are selected at random to eliminate six people. The reward for fulfilling their contract is to win their place amongst the elite.
Samarah, Ethan and Ellie-Mae, each of whom has a different reason to object, refuse to sign the contract. As civilisation crumbles, and a programme of genocide is uncovered, the regime deploys its synthetic warriors to destroy an underling rebellion. The only force that can prevent victory for evil is the spirit and collective strength of three young people.
The Creative Writing department at the University of Worcester has kindly written the most wonderful write-up and I am very grateful.
I am extremely grateful to the young readers who have offered feedback on The Objectors:
’I really enjoyed the idea of how the younger generation is often to blame for mistakes that the older generation has made. It made it relatable to issues in our society. I also felt that the range and depth of the characters made the book extremely interesting.’
Louisa Fullerton, 17
’The book is aimed at older children and this gave the story action and adventure. It had an interesting dark side and I couldn’t put it down.’
Noah Benedict, 13
’I thought it was great! It was super engaging and exciting to read and kept me on the edge of my seat. I like how different it is from Kevin’s other books, and I like how real the characters felt.’
Harriet Meek, 14
A five-star review on Amazon is as follows:
This novel for young adults is a real page-turner, right from the beginning. Brooke’s plot is full of action and dilemmas that challenge and develop the young protagonists. The narrative is focalised through three vividly drawn and rounded characters, Ethan, Samarah and Ellie-Mae. As with any work of speculative fiction, the alternative world that Brooke creates is removed from our own but at the same time disturbingly familiar. A powerful and oppressive right-wing elite exerts a totalitarian grip over Britain in 2042. The planet continues to be destroyed to suit capitalist agendas, and all hopes rest with the success of the uprising and the decisions of a young group of activists. What are their motivations? Will they succeed in their mission? People will die and the process will be traumatic for all. The novel engages with power and politics in a patriarchal society. The narrative emphasises the democratic right of citizens to protest, and engages with questions of race, gender, age, religion, and social class, showing how the issues are intersected. The novel’s themes and ideas have contemporary resonance and the discursive elements are ultimately empowering for the young reader.