Sam Hawksmoor’s debut was a complete surprise for me. From it’s summary I expected it to be more about supernatural and witchcraft elements, but this is in fact more along the lines of YA science fiction. That said the sci-fi element is not dominant and even as someone who doesn’t read sci-fi avidly, I was still engaged with the plot and really liked the book so don’t be put off!
34 children have recently gone missing in Genie’s small town. She is next. Genie starts out in the novel imprisoned by her mother who believes she is possessed by the devil thanks to a local sinister reverend. When she is saved by Rian, her boyfriend and they try to escape and end up seeking shelter with reclusive Marshall. One of the most compelling things for me about this novel was Hawksmoor’s characterisation and the fact that no character was one thing or the other. Marshall is a kind man and incredibly helpful for example, but he’s also a scientist and sometimes this clouds his judgement and thought processes.
This book, for me, was about how dangerous it can be as a teenager and how badly they can be exploited by those pretending to help. The scenes with Father chilled me to the bone and the set-up was worryingly plausible. Hawksmoor has created a truly terrifying nemesis in Rev. Schneider, who I initially thought would be forgotten about when I began the novel but is a central focus for the plot.
Genie and Rian also embodied that wonderful, consuming first love you might be lucky enough to experience as a teenager, or certainly daydream about. I genuinely cared about their relationship as I read the book. Their sacrifices for each other and respect of one another was really great to read and I was particularly happy to see Rian treated Genie equally, unlike in some YA books I have read.
The final quarter of The Repossession is action packed and tense and the book does leave you on quite a cliffhanger. I think you will either love or hate this, personally I do want to know what comes next for the characters so I will definitely be checking out the Hunting, its sequel, when it is released!
This is a highly unusual read that defies your original conceptions of what it will be. I thoroughly enjoyed the scientific elements Hawksmoor introduced simply and without patronising a reader. I received Repossession from Hodder Children’s Book for free and am very thankful for the opportunity. My tone or opinion on this book have not been affected by receiving the book for free or via the publisher.