The Territory by Sarah Govett: a Review

The Territory is a gripping fantasy thriller set in a future Britain where unflooded land is scarce.

Everyone must pass an exam at 15 to stay in The Territory or be exiled to the disease-ridden Wetlands. But how can Noa compete when the system is skewed to favour rich kids who can upload information through a Node in the back of their neck? And how can she focus when her heart is being pulled in two directions?

More 10 Things I Hate About You than The Hunger Games; The Territory is a brilliant introduction to a dystopian society not too far removed from our own. It goes beyond the expected tropes of a grim and bloody fight for survival and instead focuses on the daily life being a second class citizen in that most relatable and terrifying of settings – high school.

At Noa’s school there are only two groups – the Childes (Freakoids), teenagers that have had upload nodes grafted into their spines to allow them instantaneous access to information and near perfect recall; and Norms (Fish Faces) teenagers whose parents were either unwilling to risk the lives of their children or been unable to afford the procedure.

With Noa and er friends facing exams that could make or destroy their lives in a slowly drowning world they still have to deal with jealousy, loss and facing rivals that see them as leeches and fit for nothing except expulsion and exile outside the safety of the Territory.

In the days leading up to the most important exams of their lives, Noa Blake and her friends are about to learn that there is no upload equivalent to the human spirit.

The Territory is a believable, exciting read that had me hanging on every word and left me wanting to find out more about a world that could be our future.

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