Scott Westerfield, Shatter City (Impostors #2), Allen & Unwin, September 2019, 416 pp., RRP $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760528256
Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld is the binge-worthy dystopian thrill ride sequel to Impostors.
Shatter City continues on from book one with Frey wearing the bomb collar and pretending to be her sister, the First Daughter, Rafia, while trying to save Col, the boy she loves. Her father, a tyrannical ruler, has dug up a long-forgotten weapon of the ‘Rusties’, the civilisations of bygone years. This one is a city killer, and he intends on testing it on the city-state of Paz. When Frey learns that Rafi is hiding in Paz, she knows she has to save her. But to save her sister, Frey must first decide who she really is and what it is she’s fighting for.
Adrenaline pumping from start to finish, Shatter City is full of cool tech and advanced AI. The world-building is thorough, having been set in the same world as the Uglies series. The Impostors series is a stand-alone storyline so reading Uglies is not a prerequisite, though it is likely that readers will want to pick up that series next.
Westerfeld gives a subtle nod to Huxley’s Brave New World with the introduction of ‘Feels’ into this surgically enhanced society. It is an interesting look at emotions and our regulation of them through the use of ‘Feels’ – a selection of feelings available at your fingertips. In this tumultuous world, Frey discovers that while emotions can hurt, sometimes we need to feel life’s sharp edges in order to make the best decisions
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens