Mutant City by Steve Feasey
Fifty years ago, the world was almost destroyed by a chemical war. Now the world is divided: the mutants and the pure, the broken and the privileged, the damaged and the perfect.
Thirteen years ago, a covert government experimental facility was shut down and its residents killed. The secrets it held died with them. But five extraordinary kids survived.
Today four teenagers are about to discover that their mutant blood brings with it special powers. Rush and three brothers and sisters he can’t remember. Two rival factions are chasing them. One by one, they face the enemy. Together, they might just stay alive . . .
At first glance, the inhabitants of City Four all appear perfect. Science has helped to make them that way. All disease, sickness and the genetic differences that exist in humans have been removed. Parents can choose exactly what their children will look like, everything down to the colour of their eyes and their hair. Nothing is left to chance. The only fly in the ointment of this, otherwise perfect, existence is the groups of individuals who live outside the city walls.
The other survivors of the last war, the mutants (mutes) exist in the slums and the remains of the old world. Life in the Scorched Earth is harsh. Disease, violence and starvation are an everyday fact of life. Everyone has to be willing to fight for their survival. It’s a tough existence and many are suffering and dying because of it. They watch their neighbours and are jealous of all the things that they are missing out on.
One of my favourite things about Mutant City are all the characters. Jax, Anya, Flea, Rush and Brick are a great group. Each of these unique young men and women have powers that allow them to do truly remarkable things. If I really had to choose I think Brick and Flea would probably be my favourites. Brick is the heart and soul of the group. His special ability is also a key element of the plot. I’ll say no more than that, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. Flea, meanwhile, is a equally wonderful. Quiet and extremely shy she has a really cool power that look like magic to anyone who didn’t know she had it. Yes, I’ll admit a certain amount of jealousy on my part.
If you have a group of great heroes then it’s just as important to have some evil villains. President Melk, the ruler of City Four, has plenty of secrets and is trying to exploit the mutants for his own twisted goals. He wants to control everything and if that means destroying all mutants then so be it. The other villain I really enjoyed was Steeleye Mange, a huge one-eyed beast of a man. He’s covered in multiple tattoos and has a violent streak with a foul temper to match, I warmed to him immediately. I like nothing better than when an evil character revels in their actions. Mange is a real nasty piece of work. He’s brutal, greedy and keen to grab as much power as he can for himself. I’m genuinely curious to see what happens to this vicious individual next.
The real highlight of the novel for me though is the relationship between the characters Rush and Brick. They are the first two mutants to meet and their long journey to City Four gives the reader a chance to see how they begin to develop a bond with one another. This group are more than just scientific experiments, they are a family.
I enjoyed Mutant City, its loads of fun. If you are looking for a cracking action-packed story and some wonderful characters then you don’t need to look any further. This is a great introduction to the science fiction genre. If you’re a fan of the X-Men or superheroes in general, then I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this. I’ve got a couple of nephews who I know are going to love it as well. I really hope there will be a book two!
Mutant City is published by Bloomsbury Childrens and is available from 8th May.