Not the Booker: Sealed by Naomi Booth review – a promising debut

This pre-apocalyptic novel about a condition that seals people in their own skin is tense and admirably gory – but occasionally clunky

The world is becoming unbearably hot. The authorities are detaining people in camps. The companies that run the camps are more interested in profit than the people in their care, and inmates are treated with casual brutality. The government lurches between incompetence and mendaciousness, and can only be relied on to lie about its own mistakes.

Naomi Booth’s pre-apocalyptic debut Sealed has been reviewed as science fiction, but there are enough real-world parallels to make it a bracing, discomforting read – especially after the fiery, crazy summer of 2018. The elements of speculative fiction, meanwhile, are given an interesting edge because they are shown through the eyes of a woman who is heavily pregnant – and hugely paranoid.

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