I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for this fantastic book. Ivon is such a thought provoking book and I so enjoyed reading it.
Ivon will be released on the 8th February 2018 but is available to pre-order here.
The year is 2144, and the world is powered by sport – politically and practically. Each community owes its prosperity or otherwise to the success of its teams and athletes. A person’s class is determined by their aptitude for sport. Once their useful life as an athlete has expired, they are placed in stasis at an age predetermined by that class.
But not in Wales.
Separated from the rest of the world by a huge wall, the Welsh still play games for joy. They play, they carouse, they love, they die. They have fun.
Of all the Welsh, the greatest sportsman is an unreconstructed genius called Ivon. When the chance arises to become the first Welshman to cross the great divide into England, he cannot resist. His parents, exiled from England before he was born, know what London will do to him. They are desperate to have him back. But London will not give up an asset like Ivon so easily.
Ivon is a celebration of where sport has come from and a satire on where it is going.
Ivon is a truly fascinating and thought provoking novel that could literally be a glimpse into our future. For me I felt that it had a 1984 feel to it as we are currently trying to find new ways to fuel our world and it is apparently possible to create power from people’s phyical exertions, though admittedly you would have to do a lot of exercise to gain just a little power. This did lead me to wonder if this will be a way to create energy in the future.
The world Michael Alywin has created in this book is a truly scary and chilling one. This is especially true for someone who was never very good at sport at school and therefore would be at the bottom of this society. The lack of feeling towards other humans is awful, with everything including death being something that just happens for the good of the commune. The residents aren’t allowed to have relationships, fall in love and start a family. Anyone who does is dealt with very strictly and kept away from each other. Sex is only used for the generation of more power and not for the creation of new life, that is done is a lab in the hope of creating more elite sports people. No one is allowed to have a free thought or to rebel against the leaders and if they do they are sent to The Institute of Improvement and Correction which re-educates them back into model citizens. I can’t imagine a world without love and free thought and this idea sent a chill down my spine whilst I was reading it.
Even sport activity that is so important in this life is controlled with technology, with every move made in the game carefully thought out and decided by a computer. The idea of which is very scary as surely sport is one of the only things left in life that can’t be controlled this way and needs free thought in order to work? I sincerely hope this isn’t the case for future sport as half of the fun is the uncertainty of it and the skill and decisions made by the athletes.
As the book progresses the differences between this new world and the one we currently live in are further highlighted by the existence of Wales which stand for The Western of Lapsed Era Savages (tongue in cheek comic genius by the author), the residents of which still live a life that is very similar to the one we live now.
I loved the two man characters Dusty and Ivon. I thought they were such caring characters is a very cold world who tried their best for their fellow citizens despite great resistance. It was quite heart breaking to see their continued strive towards trying to create a better world for people and watching them being continually blocked, not least by the citizens themselves who believed their current way of life was just fine the way it was.
This is Michael’s debut book and I very much look forward to reading more from him in the future. If you like clever, thought provoking dystopian fiction then you will love this book.
Huge thanks to Red Door publishing for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Michael Aylwin is a sports reporter for the Guardian and Observer. He lives in Southfields.
Follow The Blog Tour:
If you liked the sound of this book from my review do follow the blog tour and find out what these other bloggers thought too.