The Race

Nina Allan
The Race Cover

The Race


The Race - Nina Allen

The initial setting is a dystopian England where a war and possibly fracking have ruined the environment. Not much is really said about this - this is the world as the characters know it. The book opens with Jenna. She narrates the story of her brother, who owns/trains smart dogs and whose daughter is kidnapped. The smart dogs are very interesting and this part of the book explains a lot about the illegal racing of these dogs. The second part of the book is narrated by Christy. Like Jenna, her mother deserted them when she was young and she has a brother named Derek, who can be very violent at times. The short chapter narrated by Alex is related to Christy's tale. The last chapter is about Maree who is empathic and is on a journey to a secret government center on an island in the Atlantic. In this chapter, there are Atlantic Whales, who are a threat to ships and who are very intelligent. No real details are given about them, even though they are very interesting.

Jenna's brother was called Del, although there were occasions that he was mentioned as Derek. Christy's brother is named Derek, although there was an instance where he was mentioned as Del. Jenna's narrative took place in Sapphire. Christy's narrative took place in Hastings, although once it was referred to as Sapphire. Alex travelled to Hastings. Maree seems to have lived in Scotland but is travelling to places and speaking languages that I am not familiar with but are not spoken in the UK. Maree is Del's kidnapped daughter from Jenna's narrative. Yet, Maree's father is revealed to her as Derek and her aunt as Christy, not Del and Jenna. Smart dogs are not mentioned in Christy's or Alex's narratives. Christy's and Alex's narratives seem to be from a totally different universe than Jenna's or Maree's. Were the stories of Jenna and Maree some of Christy's fiction?

As a person very interested in speculative fiction and with very little interest in stories of dysfunctional people in today's world, I found Christy's and Alex's narratives dull. I kept waiting for mention of the smart dogs or tying their stories to Jenna's, but aside from what seemed to be errors (e.g. calling Derek Del) there was nothing but one sentence hinting that maybe Jenna's narrative was a story that Christy had written.

I had the Kindle version of this book and there were some spelling and grammar errors in it. There were instances of the wrong word being used, e.g. "they" was used instead of "the" and "span" was used instead of "spun." In a couple of places cut and paste seemed to be used but the result was not a coherent sentence. Someone who writes for a living should proofread the document to catch the typos like the they and span, and should run the spelling and grammar checker that comes with the word processing software.