The City Lord
Sometimes, we find things we didn’t expect. Or something… And right now I really have an urge to write the subtitle of Dr. Strangelove and it has absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand. (If you didn’t know, that is “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. But I digress…)
Let me see if I can collect the thoughts I need for this now. So yeah, I am sure you know or have at least heard about Lord of the Flies. Tons of literary themes and thoughts have gone into discussing the story and dissecting it ad naseum. But the thing is, the underlying plot is a great way of isolating the characters and putting them in extraordinary situations.
I say that to give you a bit of a thought behind the story I am thinking of right now. The Girl who Owned a City (Graphic Universe TM 2013)is the graphic novel adaptation of a story that has a similar current to Lord of the Flies. No, not that the kids have been stranded on a desert island or anything like that.
In this story, a mutant disease has wiped out the adult population. So we have kids up to a specific age, having to govern themselves. And the dilemma becomes who becomes savage and who fights to maintain civilization. Mind you, there is no conch and piggy doesn’t get eaten, or something…
The aspect of this that brings in a different dimension to the basic structure is the world around the kids. They still have the civilized world in place around them. They have houses and places to scavenge food (at least until the supermarkets have been picked clean). It is an added dimension that changes the basic question posed in Lord of the Flies. Instead of scrambling and fighting for the most basic essentials of life, the characters in this story can explore a larger dynamic.
The ideas of pockets of society is on a much larger scale. Different factions are able to claim territory and negotiate with other factions. Of course, there are also the mobs that take the darker step and use force to get what they want. But that is the impetus that drives the story.
Lisa (the main character) is driven by a need for protection. Her main concern is for her and her brother, anyone else being secondary. It’s a selfishness of youth that drives her to dictatorship of the forces that rally to her cause.
Like Lord of the Flies, the story itself is a study of our world but in a more confined space. It offers us a chance to consider our motivations and how we approach our relationships with others (in an extreme scenario but still).
It’s a fun story and worth a read. The story itself falls into that odd category of YA post apocalyptic fiction (I know, when aren’t they), but at least it isn’t following the zombie trend that so many are hitting now. Something new and different to explore is always a good thing.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.