Six Days, by Philip Webb
Things have not turned out well for London. In Six Days chemical warfare has, at some point in the not too distant future, turned the city into a diseased dystopia where Londoners are forced to slave away for the occupying Vlads [Russia having won the war]. Cass and Wilbur Westerby work with their father as Scavs tasked by the Vlads to hunt [or scavenge in fact] through the decaying remains of the city in search of a mysterious artefact. The hunt is proving tricky though as no one, not even the Vlads, knows exactly what the artefact is.
While the majority of Londoners, including Cass, simply want to find the artefact so that the hated Vlads will finally pack up and head home, Wilbur has his own thoughts about the nature of the artefact and believes that he can spot clues to its whereabouts in the Captain Jackson comics that he has found throughout the city. One such clue leads him to Big Ben and near disaster before Wilbur and Cass are helped by a strange boy named Peyto. Teaming up with Peyto and his friend Erin, Wilbur and Cass are soon hot on the trail of the artefact and a secret that could change the world.
Philip Webb’s Six Days is a great science fiction adventure. The central mystery surrounding the artefact is certainly intriguing, the ravaged London of the future is brilliantly realised, and there is plenty of danger and excitement too. Although Cass is the most developed character since she is the one narrating the story, the other principle characters are engaging too. Cass, Wilbur, Peyto and Erin make a good team of heroes with each one adding something useful to the mission. A sense of danger hangs over their quest, not just due to the unknown nature of the artefact that they seek, but due to the villains that are pursuing them. The Okhotniks are particularly brilliant baddies.
Six Days is a dynamite dystopian yarn with enough mystery, action and adventure to keep readers hooked until the very end.