Journey to Justice: The Adventures of Spider and Ruby
Journey to Justice: The Adventures of Spider and Ruby, by Tanni Haas:
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Today, I’m reviewing a gripping and meaningful dystopian book entitled Journey to Justice: The Adventures of Spider and Ruby, by the author Tanni Haas.
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.
The world has been flooded with water; now desperate families live on houseboats, doing their best to survive under the rule of a small group of powerful people who live on a man-made island. Families are given a ‘three-mile zone’ where they can live and gather food. However, if they leave their zone, they are subsequently arrested and taken to this mysterious island, never to return.
Spider, a young man whose family lives on a houseboat, hopes to find his twin brother Luke after he is taken away for crossing out of their family’s zone. After Spider leaves his home on his dangerous mission to find Luke, he soon meets Ruby, a young woman whose life is startlingly like his. The two become fast friends, believing that they have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives, if they work together to find Luke, and put a stop to the corrupt practices used by the mysterious islanders to rule people’s lives.
While there were a variety of interesting characters in this story, I’m choosing to focus on the two lead characters for the purposes of this review; Spider and Ruby.
Spider is a responsible young man, who fishes all day to satisfy the demands of people known as ‘collectors’. In exchange for the fish he catches, his family receive precious supplies, including the medicine his father so desperately needs. His family’s life is a difficult, exhausting, and sombre one, fuelled by the fear of not appeasing those in power. In addition, he is a fair and courageous individual who refuses to tolerate injustice and always seeks to treat others equally with kindness and respect. He is also a steadfast friend, never once wavering in his support for Ruby. Overall, I found him to be a likable main character with many admirable traits.
Next, we come to Ruby, a courageous young woman who lives with her family in an underwater greenhouse as aqua-growers, growing the fruit and vegetables which are taken away to the mysterious island, to feed a more prosperous elite. Both mature and responsible for her age, Ruby takes her future (and that of her people) into her own hands when she joins Spider on his dangerous adventure to obtain freedom. Over the course of the story, Ruby proved herself to be calm and collected when handling difficult situations, with a sharp mind and brilliant imagination that proved to be a valuable asset to her and Spider’s plans. Overall, she was a caring, bright, and determined individual, who made for a perfect co-protagonist, to provide an alternative way of approaching things from Spider.
There were many things which made for an enjoyable and gripping experience when reading Journey to Justice.
- Firstly, the main characters were so inspiring and full of hope, no matter how dire their situation became. Despite their being fictional, I felt proud to be privy to the grand efforts they made along their journey, feeling close to them as they fought for the freedom of people like them.
- Secondly, the key themes of the story (our planet’s climate, friendship, hope and survival) were all well explored and helped to make this a significantly meaningful and memorable story, which I hope will stand the test of time so countless others get the chance to read it.
- Thirdly, it made for a fairly short yet engaging read, at just a few hundred pages long. This adventure contains several powerful messages which are easily absorbed in a brief amount of time.
- Furthermore, the fictional world the author has created is rich, with its own societal rules and expectations, its own hierarchy of social power and divisions. The resulting inequalities; between the island’s Chosen population and the rest of humanity that remains were intricately explored and echoed modern day forms of inequality that are still sadly unresolved.
- Finally, there was a decent amount of character development. For instance, Spider went from being his brother Luke’s sidekick at the beginning, constantly living in his shadow, to developing his own sense of bravery and leadership skills, ending the story as a courageous and strong-willed young man, who had fought valiantly to free his people from a live of servitude.
Journey to Justice is a story with many inspiring quotes throughout. For the purposes of this review, I have included the following five, which really stuck with me.
1) ‘If we don’t do anything, it’s as if we agree with it.’
2) ‘The Chosen use an old strategy – divide and conquer. It’s easier to rule people if you keep them apart and make them rivals.’
3) ‘If you can make people believe that their position in life is fair and that everything could change in an instant, if only they got lucky, they won’t complain.’
4) ‘We’re much stronger together than we are apart.’
5) ‘The future wasn’t defined by division but by unity. They all had to learn how to get along.’
Overall, Journey to Justice was a gripping story of power, corruption, and a quest for true freedom.
Key themes included; servitude vs freedom, friendship, survival, hope (for a better future), power and corruption, our perceptions of others (and how these are shaped by the stories we are told about different groups of people), and injustice (in how different groups of people are unfairly treated).
My Rating: 4 stars.
Recommended to: anyone looking for a gripping, meaningful read that speaks to you deeply as a person.
Would you like more information?
To learn more about Journey to Justice, you can visit its Goodreads page HERE.
Or, to find out more about Tanni Haas, visit their Amazon page HERE.
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Have a wonderful week,