Hooray! I've been thirsting for something a little bit different and I found it in Silver Skin.
This story mixes sci-fi and historical fiction to spectacular effect. How would a person from a highly technological future cope in the Neolithic world? Could the vast differences in experience, culture and understanding ever be transcended? Could worthwhile relationships be made? Lennon explores these questions in typically lyrical form. I love the way she describes both landscapes and people and the emotions they feel. Both Rab and Cait are utterly credible characters and it's both fascinating and moving to watch them inch towards a friendship despite the vast gulf between them.
The picture of a technological future in which artificial intelligences support and guide human beings, in which races have blended and in which space is the premium currency, is a picture I can believe in. But I think the picture of Neolithic society has the bigger emotional pull... Lennon presents an entrancing picture of a hard life but one rich with meaning...
It's original. It's interesting. It's imaginative. It's beautifully written. The plot is compelling. And it mixes science and the supernatural to great effect. I really liked Silver Skin. Can you tell?!
by Jill Murphy
Silver Skin is a weird but wonderful fantasy book ...
26 July 2015 -
An entrancing channelling of selkie mythology through sci-fi ...
It's a beautiful and mesmeric tale, rising and falling between its different narrators, sometimes as if drifting in and out of sleep.
But it's also an examination of our relationship with the environment and catastrophe.
One character ponders, 'The times have never been so cruel
- can you remember, ever? - not ever. They say the Sun is fading. Dying.
What have we done? What can we do?'
by Vicky Allan, Senior Features Writer
6 June 2015 - The Herald Scotland
This isn't just a GOOD book - it's a VERY GOOD book. I'm quite certain of this, because I've read it twice...
The earth is entering a cooler phase, and the people are afraid ... they are aware that things are changing, and that the future may be worse than the present - which, of course, has resonances for us.
This really is a book which satisfies on a great many levels. It would be great to study in class - if the curriculum allows!
by Sue Purkiss
An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Silver Skin by Joan Lennon, this one’s for you if you want a gripping read that is set in the future and the distant past and that expertly – and effortlessly – mixes science and the supernatural ... This book is so good it’s only just arrived this morning and I haven’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what happens….
by Catherine Johnson
28 July 2015 - Girls Heart Books
Joan Lennon spins a damn good yarn, maintaining the tension to keep you turning the pages, needing to know what happens next the whole way through, and never certain of the eventual outcome. And very satisfyingly, leaving you to work out a few things for yourself. Perfect.
by Karen Bush
This book has all the ingredients of a prehistoric transcendental romance.
by Roddy Martine
The Scotland Magazine
The premise alone was enough to rope me in, and it’s no mean feat to collide a brilliantly imaginative scientific future with Stone Age Scotland. The characters are superb and utterly human, the plot tears along at a breakneck pace, and all the way through there’s that little element of the supernatural woven in that keeps you on your toes. It’s just one of those books that does everything right. It finds that elusive sweet spot where, while it is aimed at a young adult readership, it is mature and intriguing enough to pull in older readers too. Simply put, this is a must for anyone who enjoys a cracking good adventure!
by Jamie Harris Birlinn
The bleak but beautiful ancient village of Skara Brae on Orkney is the setting for this original and intriguing novel, and an atmosphere of otherness pervades the story. Lennon brings together the original inhabitants of the village with Rab, a young time-traveller from a distant future where pain and hunger are unknown. Their worlds could not be more different, but relationships are formed nonetheless as Rab and the villagers both fight for their survival. A skilful mix of sci-fi, historical thriller and romance with interesting, believable characters this is a book that will stay with readers for a long time.
by Andrea ReeceLovereading
The first thing I had to do after finishing Joan Lennon’s Silver Skin, was to look up Skara Brae. Like her character Rab, I learned a bit about it at school, even though it is Scottish history. Like Rab, I listened and didn’t understand and never bothered to stop and think, or to try and learn more. Now I am wondering how I can fit in a trip to Orkney ...
... a fabulous read. I raced through it; both wanting to know what everyday Skara Brae was like, and what would happen to Rab and Cait.
Many thanks to Joan for educating an ignorant witch.
Best of all though, has been Joan Lennon’s latest novel, Silver Skin. it has a wonderfully original time slip which moves between the distant future and the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae on Orkney. Rab, from the future, and Cait, from the past, appear to be insurmountably different, but still manage to develop a deep and affecting relationship. I worried about both of them all the way through, they became so real in my mind.
This is a wonderful evocation of ancient life; life in Skara Brae, Orkney, towards the end of the Stone Age...
Almost poetic in its writing, this is a brilliant blend of ancient and modern with characters who are perfectly of their time.
by Parents in Touch
A love story that is also a time-travel adventure set in the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae on Orkney, it has that twist of genre-bending originality that marks out the best teen fiction.
10 June 2015 - Whatson North
Throughout this story aimed at teenagers, Lennon paints a vivid picture of the pre-historic landscape and allows the readers to travel back in time. There is romance, humour and an element of the supernatural that keeps you on your toes. It subtly finds that spot where, while it is aimed at a young adult readership, it is mature and intriguing enough to pull in older readers too.
1 April 2015 - Scottish Field
Time-traveller Rab takes us on an epic adventure, a race against time among other islanders of Skara Brae during the Neolithic period. Set in this famous historic settlement, the book gives us a sense of authenticity alongside the vivid descriptions of Orkney's surrounding. It is a gripping novel mixed with science fiction and history that will keep you on your toes.
20 April 2015 - Scots Heritage Magazine
Time travel, history, romance – what a great combination and an enjoyable read, with appeal for any age or gender.
by Waimakariri Libraries New Zealand