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The Liberators

Written by Philip Womack

Books of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers

LoveReading View on The Liberators

This is a compelling modern fantasy that sees modern-day London threatened by sinister ancient forces.  A brutal death, a mysterious object and the Capital sliding into anarchy is what greets Ivo Moncrieff as he arrives in London. Ivo faces a race against time to break the ancient power of the Liberators, a power that has lain dormant for centuries but now threatens to destroy society itself.  Philip Womack has written a gripping and thought-provoking tale that entertains at the same time as it explores what it is to be human.

Womack's debut novel, The Other Book, was hugely original and this novel confirms Philip Womack as a fresh and original voice in teen fiction.

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The Liberators Synopsis

On his first trip to London to stay with his glamorous aunt and uncle for Christmas, Ivo Moncrieff steps off the train and stumbles into a nightmare. As he is waiting on the tube platform, a stranger thrusts a mysterious object into his hand, desperately muttering some unfamiliar words to him. On-board the tube moments later, the carriage next to Ivo's is overcome with panic and when they enter the next station the passengers disembark to find that the stranger's body has been brutally dismembered. Ivo guesses that perpetrators must want the object, and if they find out he has it, he will be their next target. But the attack on the tube is part of a larger scheme to bring chaos to the heart of London. As the capital seems in danger of sliding into anarchy, Ivo faces a race against time to break the ancient power of the Liberators, a power that has lain dormant for centuries but now threatens to destroy society itself. Philip Womack has written a gripping and thought-provoking tale that entertains at the same time as it explores what it means to be human and to be free.

The Liberators Press Reviews

Review of ‘The Liberators’ by Books for Keeps [3 stars]

‘He felt in a choking way that a net was being drawn around him, that the dim, vague future was forming into a clearly defined and dangerous path.’ This is the realisation that strikes 13-year-old Ivo Moncrieff soon after he has experienced something very unexpected and sinister on his way to stay with his London aunt and uncle. It is the London of our own time and by no means the least of Womack’s achievements in this ambitious and intelligent novel is to sketch in, as background, the political and economic ethos of contemporary Britain. The foreground, however, will probably be of more immediate interest to young readers, many of whom should be kept on the edge of their seats by a narrative which, early on, is dominated by a dismembered corpse and soon develops into a fascinating exploration of the type of society endorsed by the ‘liberators’ of the title, ‘untrammelled by restraints’ where we could ‘act on every impulse, every desire, without fear, without consequence’. The characterisation is rich and entertainingly varied, with some individuals who would not be out of place in an Iris Murdoch novel: the arty pretensions of Ivo’s aunt and uncle are tellingly skewered. This, in spite of a few patches of over-writing, is the sort of young adult novel that gives the genre a good name.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780747595526
Publication date: 01/02/2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780747595526
Publication date: 1st February 2010
Author: Philip Womack
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Recommendations: Books of the Month

About Philip Womack

Philip Womack was born in Chichester in the middle of a thunderstorm in 1981.He was educated at Lancing, and Oriel College, Oxford, where he read Classics and English. He lives in London. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Literary Review and writes for  The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, among other papers; he is also a Fellow at First Story, currently being Writer in Residence at St Augustine's in Kilburn. He has led workshops on Greek Tragedy and How to Write Children's Fiction for the How To: Academy. Read a Q&A with the author here.  

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