The Colour of London by Piers Treacher
The Colour of London, written by debut novelist Piers Treacher, is an enjoyable and easy read. Easy, I hasten to add, does not mean lacking in plot or thought provoking ideas; just that the story moves forward at a good pace and is well written. The characters are well drawn and easily visualised, which made me care about their futures.
The central character, Jack Eastwood, is a grad student working on a physics experiment which is currently occupying all his time. Lacking in sleep and finding little time to focus on his relationship with girlfriend, Mandy, Jack is introduced to us an overtired but hard working fellow. His normal, dull and routine-filled life however, is smacked into a new reality where enlightenment, discovery and hidden peril take over. Jack has been ‘awakened’ and, along with some other highly likeable characters with similar ‘gifts’, he must save London from the evil waiting to be released by the dark and intimidating Avaro, who moves through the pages with an acid force.
There is something engaging about the way Treacher uses a recognisable format and the basic premise of good versus evil to pull the reader comfortably into the science fiction. And by embedding the story in modern day London the plot is accessible to readers who might ordinarily avoid books that lean in that direction. In fact, the book takes an interesting look at modern society, with its reliance on social media and celebrity. Treacher also looks at how human behaviour can be influenced by fear and mass fervor. Yet, despite these less than cheerful themes and some moments of sadness, Treacher manages to write with a light and welcome humour which keeps the story moving.
I would have liked to see the central characters face a little more danger earlier in the book but given that that this is a first novel there is really very little else to criticise and Treacher writes with a confidence that makes his story believable and real. The Colour of London is an enjoyable, relevant and thought provoking book which I think would be an excellent choice for a book group, as it is the kind of book you want to talk about after you have finished reading it. Alternatively, enjoy it with a cuppa one weekend, then recommend it to a few friends so you can chat with them about it later.
The Colour of London is available to buy on Amazon here.