Review of ‘One’ by Eve Smith

A gripping dystopian thriller which has everything you could want from the genre: plausible future, well-researched details, a brisk pace, snappy dialogue and an emotional pull. It’s quite terrifying, being preoccupied with two common themes in dystopian fiction: climate crisis and reproductive rights.

Book cover showing a spiral staircase in the shape of an eye.

Set in a totalitarian UK with a one-child policy, the story is narrated by Kai, a woman in her twenties whose job is to track down illegal pregnancies. However, when she discovers that she has an illegal sister, her loyalty to the government’s brainwashing and her wish to protect her family are in conflict. This leads to an even more shocking discovery which could affect the UK’s future.

This book is impactful and frightening, with zero laughs but a great number of thought-provoking ideas. I would definitely be interested to read more from the author.

Published by Orenda Books, 2023. I won this copy in a giveaway.

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