METRONOME TOM WATSON
Not all that is hidden is lost
For twelve years Aina and Whitney have been in exile on an island for a crime they committed together, tethered to a croft by pills they must take for survival every eight hours. They’ve kept busy – Aina with her garden, her jigsaw, her music; Whitney with his sculptures and maps – but something is not right.
Shipwrecks have begun washing up, and their supply drops have stopped. And on the day they’re meant to be collected for parole, the Warden does not come. Instead there’s a sheep. But sheep can’t swim…
As days pass, Aina begins to suspect that their prison is part of a peninsula, and that Whitney has been keeping secrets. And if he’s been keeping secrets, maybe she should too. Convinced they’ve been abandoned, she starts investigating ways she might escape. As she comes to grips with the decisions that haunt her past, she realises her biggest choice is yet to come.
MY REVIEW ****
I love dystopian thrillers and Metronome was a really intriguing book which stayed with me long after I put it down. Aina and Whitney have been exiled onto an island due to breaking their home’s fertility laws. As a condition of their stay, they must take a pill that is dispensed every 8 hours or they die, however their date of parole is coming up and they will soon be free – or will they?
The book is short and very pacy, with a lot in it to hold my interest and I finished it in two sessions on a particularly long train journey. I enjoyed the story and was really intrigued with it although I would have liked a little more world building to tell me about the world outside the island. The plot is very character-focussed, told from the perspective of Aina, and we are rooting for her throughout the story, with occasional chapters dedicated to (vaguely) explaining what happened before to cause them to have been exiled. I would have liked a little more explanation as to why these rules had come into existence and also how the punishment system was supposed to work, as well as a little more information about the pills. When a later event regarding the mainland is introduced, this is also skimmed over and I would have liked a little more speculation from the characters as to what had happened as well.
The ending is going to be the thing that most divides readers of Metronome. It is deliberately left ambiguous and I personally think this worked rather well. I enjoyed puzzling what happened next and imagining the possible endings however, I can also see that this will frustrate some readers that want a black and white conclusion.
Overall, Metronome is an interesting story with a great premise that sucked me right in to its island setting, however I would have preferred a little more explanation and world building at times. Thank you to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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