Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: Queenie's Teapot by Carolyn Steele


Genre: Satire

Description:

A post-Brexit, post-Trump romp through the world of what-if...

In a world where democracy has been declared no longer fit for purpose, a cohort of randomly-selected British Republic citizens receives their call to serve in parliament. As the strangers gather to learn their tasks for the next three years, the Cabinet Support Team tries to fit jobs to skills—but Queenie can’t do nuffin’. Naturally she becomes head of state. Together the new government muddles through, tackling unrest on the streets and a spot of global bioterrorism in addition to their own journeys of self-discovery.”

Author:

A native of the UK, Carolyn has worked in a number of professions, from psychologist to driving a semi-truck to an editor and proofreader. Then there's this author thing too, with two non-fiction books to her credit as well as contributing to several more. This book appears to be her first published work of fiction.

Appraisal:

I'm not sure where to start in trying to describe Queenie's Teapot, even in picking a genre. The premise is much like you'd expect from a dystopian novel, a “what if” imagined to the ultimate, but things never get bad enough to qualify as a dystopia. (Of course, the opposite of a dystopia is a utopia, and that doesn't fit either.) The author described it as satire, and that's not totally unreasonable.

At least satire is reasonable other than the quibble that satire is typically based on reality, but the world imagined here isn't reality with the figureheads of government (heads of state, cabinet ministers, etc.) picked semi-randomly by people working in the background. Well, not reality unless you buy into some of the more wild conspiracy theories floating around. I'll assume you don't.

Lack of knowing how to describe the story didn't stop me from getting drawn in. The protagonist, Queenie Mason, was likeable and made me want her to succeed. (That's why she got picked as head of state, not because of her name, although that couldn't have hurt.) The deeper into the story I got, the more I understood the satire. I got the point of the what if. Some of you might see it as a dystopia after all. At a minimum it's a fun little political adventure and if you want, it'll also get you thinking.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:

Uses UK spelling. Also, lots of UK slang and forms of expression.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words