Hello and welcome back to the blog. Today I am sharing my review of The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward.
Dystopian Political Thriller
London, 2054. After a devastating global pandemic and a bloody revolution, Britain’s new government imposes peace by stringently dictating the nation’s cultural intake.
In the quest to create better citizens, everything from the television we watch to the clothes we wear is strictly policed.
As part of the unit tasked with upholding these so-called ‘Bad Taste Laws’, H. and his partner, Bagby, have their work cut out.
When former reality TV star Caleb Jennings is found murdered, some suspect it could be a simple vigilante slaying. But, as H. digs deeper into the killing, Bagby’s association with old revolutionary figureheads is called into question.
With the help of Caleb’s estranged sister, the museum curator Kate Faron, H. must navigate a Britain in which paranoia and suspicion of the unknown are rife, all the while dealing with the mysterious tech behemoth Vangelis, new revolutionary murmurings, and the legacy of Kate’s biologist parents.
Compelled by what he uncovers, H. begins to question his loyalty to the state at a time when national stability couldn’t be more precarious.
I have never read a book like this before. The Lion and The Unicorn was set in a post 2021 world, which unlike many dystopian style books doesn’t feature heavy virus infections or zombies. Instead it focuses on a world which is scarily something that I could foresee happening with society the way it is.
I really liked the characters, RZ reminded me so much of a certain celebrity we currently have to the point that when I envisage him I see him looking like this person.
The story itself was well paced and full of twists and turns and the unexpected. I loved (but would hate to live with) bad taste laws, and can think of a few songs in the more recent charts I would like to see removed with such a law.
This book was thought provoking, touching on so many realistic elements and causing me to think about our current society, culture and Government.
The Lion and the Unicorn was a uniquely enjoyable read.
Tom Ward is an author and features writer, writing for publications including Wired, Esquire and National Geographic.
He has won the GQ Norman Mailer Award, the PPA New Consumer Magazine Journalist of the Year Award, and has been shortlisted for The People’s Book Prize. He is also a graduate of the Faber Academy.
Thanks for reading.