When I got the email from the lovely people at Puffin that Anywhere was available to review, I was so excited to reply as I really loved Nowhere when I read it last summer. With such high expectations, Anywhere could have easily let me down. Fortunately, I loved it, perhaps even more than Nowhere!
The story starts off right where Nowhere ends so if you haven’t read it in a while, I’d suggest rereading the end of Nowhere to refresh your memory (that’s what I did).
One of the dangers of continuing a series right where the previous book ends is that the two books can blur. It’s possible that the plotline sticks with the same structure/ideas/themes that the first book did and there’s nothing to distinguish the sequel as a book in it’s own right. Which is why I liked in Anywhere that almost straight away the plot develops with the introduction of the teenagers’ (to quote the synopsis) ‘special talent’ (henceforth called by its real name - the Ability). This really moved this book away from the first one but kept the key links.
Now the Ability, I really liked. YA books with teenagers that have special powers are all the rage these days but I love the originality that Robinson uses in this Ability. It’s not so obvious and sci-fi as you might expect and the subtlety of it is something that I particularly enjoyed. Also, the dangers is presents… (read the book to find out what I mean by THAT!)
The characters, as in Nowhere, are fab. My particular favourites in this book are Stephen, Julian, and Pyra. Stephen is a world class psychopath. Although with Julian and even Susannah there are shades of gray, it’s really pleasing to have a pure evil character such as Stephen. A real joy to read about his schemes and plots. Julian is perhaps my favourite character is this book (a shock to those of you who’ve read Nowhere). This is mainly because of his reaction to the Ability and the flashback into his past. This discovery really humanises him and although there are still some mean elements to him, when compared with Stephen, you can get to like him. I love the complexity of his character. Finally Pyra is just really badass and I generally love badass female characters. But, like all the characters in this series, you keep trying to guess, ‘are they really a good guy?’, ‘what’s his agenda?’, ‘are they trustworthy?’ etc. I really love how this book keeps you guessing and nothing is certain.
There are lots of hints as to what could be developed in the final bookSomewhere (out next year aaarrrrgghh). Something unique about Alyn and the consequences of this, Stephen and his plans and what exactly is in that locked room?? All things which mean I cannot WAIT for Somewhere next year! Highly recommend this series for fans of mystery/conspiracy books :)
4 stars. A highly mysterious, gripping sequel that will keep you guessing until the very end!
What did you think of Anywhere and of the series?
Read my interview with the author Jon Robinson here!