The Boy Who Drew the Future by Rhian Ivory
It’s starting again…
Blaze has to draw people’s future to survive, with threats of the workhouse and witch trials hanging over him. Noah tried all he can to stop drawing but the more he fights, the more it takes over. He just wants to pass for normal in his new school. As he gets closer to Beth, will he give himself away?
One boy hiding in the past, one in the present. Can their futures set them free?
Growing up can be a challenge at the best of times but when you’re someone with a ‘gift’, it makes life even harder. Both fifteen years old, Noah and Blaze can ‘draw’ the future, predicting what might lie ahead for the person they draw for.
Blaze, in an age where witchcraft is recognised but feared, knows he can use his ‘gift’ to protect himself. And after the death of his mother, Blaze has no choice but predict the future in return for shelter and food. He is constantly overshadowed with the threat of being discovered and sent to the workhouse – or worse.
Noah, lives 100 years later, where such things as being ‘psychic’ mark you out as a ‘freak’, and whilst not a death sentence, make ‘normal’ life almost impossible. Consumed by guilt believing his drawings have only brought harm, Noah is terrified someone will get hurt again. Noah’s parents are desperate for him to stop drawing, hoping that yet another new home and school will be the answer. When Noah makes friends with Beth, he feels he might be on the road to a fresh start; but his hope is short-lived when the drawing starts again….
In the The Boy Who Drew The Future, Rhian Ivory takes all the best components of storytelling and blends them to create a novel which is gripping, eerie and immersive. A thoroughly enjoyable story, I read it in one sitting. This a great book for those who might be more reluctant readers and gives some wonderful historical insight as well as reflecting the lives of teenagers today.
Told alternately from both Noah’s and Blaze’s points of view, the narrative switches smoothly from the present to the past. Both worlds are brilliantly described – the poverty and destitution of the 1800s; and the challenge of being a teenager in the modern world with all that entails from friends to school to family problems. Empathy is instant for both characters in their respective predicaments and as the plot progresses, it is clear the outcome is inevitably entwined. The tension mounts and Noah can barely resist confiding in Beth with whom romance is blossoming, much to the irritation of their fellow classmates. Blaze, a soulful boy with only his precious dog for companionship, veers ever closer to danger and has no one to help him. Both boys must face their worst fears and overcome them. Reaching an exciting climax, we discover that perhaps it’s not our ‘gifts’ that define us but how we use them that does.
The Boy Who Drew The Future received a well deserved Carnegie Medal 2017 nomination.
With thanks to Firefly Press for sending me this book to review.