The UK’s new megacities: contented citizens relieved of the burden of home ownership, living in eco-friendly communities. Total surveillance has all but wiped out criminal activity, and biometric sensor implants detect illness even before symptoms are apparent.
That’s the hype. Scratch the surface, and darker stories emerge.
Tara is offered the chance to become a princess amongst media influencers—as long as she keeps quiet and does as she’s told.
Aileen uproots to the megacity with some reluctance, but none of her misgivings prepare her for the situation she will face: a mother’s worst nightmare.
Radar has survived gang rule in group homes for the homeless, prison and bereavement, and jumps at the chance to live a ‘normal’ life. But at what cost?
For all three, the price of living in a megacity may prove too high.
Megacity is the third and final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy, and is Terry Tyler’s twenty-third publication.
‘As long as some of us are still living free, they have not yet won. Anyone who refuses to live as they want us to has beaten them. That’s how we do it. That’s how we win.’
The storyline in Megacity covers the years from 2028 till 2068, overlapping events in the previous book Wasteland, and telling us what happened to three new characters, Tara, Aileen and Radar. The wealthy Bettencourt family still own Nutricorp which runs almost all industry and businesses and ninety per cent of the UK population live in state owned stacks in the megacities. Tara has experienced life at all levels, from abject poverty to living in a depressing Hope village for the homeless and then fostering by the glamorous couple, Marilee and Clinton Bettencourt. But when she is 16 she realises that all is not as it seems in the luxurious household and she must start a new life in a C class occupation in the megacity.
Tara’s best friend in the Hope village was Radar, a large strong boy who was devoted to her. She hoped to visit him again but this could not happen. Radar became a survivor, tough and unemotional but he never forgot Tara.
Meanwhile Aileen and her husband Eric are forced to leave their village home for a small flat in the megacity. When Aileen finally achieves her dream of a baby daughter, Eric leaves her and she can no longer afford to work, pay the bills and take care of baby Leah. She must either go to live in a Hope village with Leah or give her up to NPU (non-parental upbringing) until she can afford to get her back.
The events in this novel are, at times, quite horrific, but totally believable. There is no room for individualism, unless you are part of the elite. The state observes everything you do and corrupt leaders manipulate the ordinary people. Thank goodness there is The Link helping some to escape but that too is threatened. It is good to rediscover some characters from the previous book although you could read this as a stand-alone. A story for our time which no longer seems impossible.
Megacity on Amazon UK
My review of Hope (Operation Galton Book 1)
and Wasteland (Book 2)