Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Noble Conflict Noble Conflict
by Malorie Blackman

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Kaspar is a Guardian – pat of an elite peacekeeping force that protects the city and maintains the peace. The guardians are humane and do not fight to kill, using blasters to knock their enemies unconscious and locking them up. There is a bloodthirsty, viscous band of rebels who want to destroy the peace and take over the city. At his graduation ceremony where he became an official Guardian. An attack is launched by the rebels and he meets a beautiful one – Rhea.

As Kaspar examines the attacks he begins to see a pattern forming and thinks he can predict attacks. He digs deeper into the city’s history, helped by Sam – a cute librarian at the Guardian headquarters. As he finds out information, he begins to question what he’s been told his whole life. Rhea comes to him in dreams and he meets her again, learning more truths about his world. Then the unthinkable happens and his world is shaken to its core..............

A really enjoyable story, this book has a tight plot, plenty of action, and likeable characters. You can feel Kaspar’s emotions – pride, grief, puzzlement, horror, and then understanding. It was interesting to find out why the rebels preferred suicide over capture and a little scary to see how the truth can be remade. I was sad about Rhea but think Kaspar made the right choice.

There’s a really good lesson here to not just blindly accept what you’ve been told but to question things. I’m really looking forward to the next in the trilogy.

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