I went into Nowhere on Earth not really knowing what to expect (as very little is revealed in the books description) but hoping that the book would live up to its captivatingly whimsical cover. For me, it did and it didn’t.
What begins as a very ominous story of survival – a plane crash in the snowy Alaskan wilderness – quickly turns into an unexpectedly intriguing thriller when men in white begin hunting the main protagonists, sixteen year old Emily and her younger brother, Aidan. Why are Emily and Aiden on the run? Why are they being hunted? Will they survive? Are just a few of the question that ran through my mind as this epic story began to evolve. However Nick Lake was quick to create a story that I was far from anticipating.
Without giving too much away, as the unknown element is a great allure of the book, Nowhere on Earth makes for a tense, fast-paced, ‘out of this world’ read, and one, which Hodder has deemed perfect for fans of Stranger Things. Lake’s writing is real and raw, and his ability to explore complex issue based around science yet effortlessly diffused with emotion is rare.
Whilst the book’s cover and pitch was targeted more towards YA, I personally felt at times the writing came across younger despite Emily being sixteen. But in this sense it makes a great book for teens transitioning over from middle grade books.
Overall, I can’t help but think of the different paths Lake could have explored after the initial plane crash, and I must admit that if I had known about the crucial plot of the book then I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. However, the underlying messages of love, humanity and empathy offer a necessary reflection on our current society, and it was refreshing to see such an intelligent and strong-minded female at the forefront of this typically male dominated genre. I have no doubt that this book will captivate the hearts and minds of many readers.