Published by Doubleday Childrens on June 6th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians - an elite peacekeeping force - to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy.
When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel - a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories - memories that could only belong to Rhea - he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for.
Noble Conflict is set in a dystopia world. To learn about the origin of the Alliance through history extracts at the beginning of certain chapters. These extracts add touching moments to the narrative and help to illustrate the themes of the book.
The reader is launched straight into the conflict between the Alliance and the Insurgents. This makes you question why this conflict is occurring and who are the key players, so you become absorbed by the story as you try to fit the pieces together.
This is what Noble Conflict is all about – putting the conflict frist. There may be a hint of a relationship, but it is a supplementary plot. Friendship and doing the right thing are important here. Noble Conflict focuses on creating suspense and action, leaving little time for character development.
Personally, Kasper did not seem a likeable character, he appeared to be naive and unwilling to take a step back; as well as never really learning from his mistakes – which as a guardian is a major flaw. Also any insights we had into his relationships with other characters, more particularly with the other guardians (Mac and Rhea) were limited. Moreover I could have felt more sympathy for Kasper in the final scenes if I had known more about Kasper’s relationship with his parents.
Rhea, on the other hand, was a more interesting character. While information about Rhea is limited, it is her mystery which appeals to the reader.
Noble Conflict is written with such detail that it is easy to imagine the world Kasper lives in. This enables Blackman to provide thought-provoking material, while being an interesting read.
Readers of Malorie Blackman should enjoy this book, however if you are new to this author I suggest you start of by reading the superb Noughts and Crosses series.