The smell was the first thing we noticed. It was a terrible smell that made us all cough; a smell of burning meat, with another stench overlaying it. Then we saw Firminus standing by the door.
’Something’s trying to get in,’ he rasped.
Seventeen year old Cheney has lived his whole life in peace and safety – aboard a space ship housing possibly the last humans alive, on a search for a new planet. But that peaceful existence is decimated when the ship collides with something that makes the ship come to life. Suddenly the humans are no longer travelling in a space ship – now they are inside a living being, which looks set to digest them unless they can outwit it. Under attack from machines that have now become cells and antibodies of the ship, Cheney and his friends have no where to hide and no hope of survival – unless they can outwit the ship’s massive system.
Living Hell is a thrilling young adult novel set in the distant future. It takes a familiar concept – that of a ship carrying the last remnants of the human race on a quest for a new planet – and gives it a chilling twist which is both original and well delivered. Readers will be kept guessing right till the last page and will be drawn into the character’s dilemma.
Great stuff from one of Australia’s most versatile authors.
Living Hell, by Catherine Jinks
Allen & Unwin, 2007