Cover art for Daniel Haight's Flotilla (The Pac Fish Series Book 1

Review: Flotilla (Pac Fish #1) 1


Sometimes the internet is a gift that gives.  A little while back I reviewed the Codebreakers Series by Colin F. Barnes and the inner workings of this website sent a tweet announcing as such over on Twitter and one of the responses to the review of the first book was rather unexpected….

 

That was Dan Haight, author of Flotilla a story narrated by Jim, a teenage (recovering) alcoholic from a near-future Pacific coast USA.  At the point Dan tweeted me I had never actually heard of him or any of his books but I was intrigued. I can’t resist a dystopian or post-apocalyptic story and Flotilla is billed as both so so I created a NetGalley ac count and signed up to review the book.

Flotilla by Dan Haight

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I must admit I was unsure what to expect from this book. It’s billed as “Young Adult” and, well, I’m not really that any more.  First impressions would suggest I don’t have much in common with the story’s main protagonist.  Jim is one of those bad kids that your parents didn’t want you to hang out with. He parties hard, whether or not there is a party to go to and gets in trouble with the law.  But, you know what? Jim was very easy to relate to – even if I am not (and have not ever been) a teenage boy with a drug and alcohol problem. There are key experiences which I think most teenagers must go through (first love, embarrassing adults) and Haight described them perfectly.

Post-rehab, and on probation, Jim is sent out to stay with his Dad on one of the “Pac Fish” (Pacific Fisheries owned) colonies off the coast of some-time-in-the-no-so-distant future California. Describing his experiences in retrospect, Jim narrates  has happened in the previous year and, ultimately, why he is in the position he is in now.

It has a slow-burn start and I was a little confused at first – where was the dystopia? Everything about onshore life was, well, normal. There was no indication of any kind of impending global doom and although the colony isn’t something that would currently exist, it wasn’t an unrecognisable social situation. In fact, it’s almost like the kind of atmosphere you would walk through at a music festival like Glastonbury, but without the music and standing stones and located on a bunch of boats moored together in the Pacific Ocean.

Music festival atmosphere or no, I was impatient for Jim to get caught up to “present day” so I could find out why he was telling me his story in the first place! Gratifyingly, as the story got closer and closer to its conclusion it got rapidly more addictive, the pace picked up and the final few chapters had me glued, and I am looking forward to reading more about Jim’s adventures.  The only thing that really disappointed me was one sentence that stated something that I felt would have been better left as a mystery (and felt a bit stereotypical) but can’t tell you what it is because it’s also a bit of a spoiler :-/ Overall though  I would say this is a good young adult dystopian book. It’s not in the same league as something like the Hunger Games series – but then again it’s also not as vicious.

When I posted my review of Flotilla on Netgalley (essentially a shortened version of the above) Dan emailed me to thank me for my honest review.  I decided to be cheeky and ask him if he would mind taking part in a “twitterview” about himself and the book and, to my delight, he agreed!  There’s an 8 hour time difference between us so I scheduled ten questions as tweets and the challenge for Dan was to reply in less than 140 characters. Questions tweeted, Dan answered… and I would like to thank him again for his time. If you are someone who already follows me on twitter then you probably know what was said, but if not… at the end of this post is a compilation of how it all went (click on the question to see his responses.)

What would you have asked?

 

Nic
..and here’s the #twitterview!