Knife Edge is the sequal to Nought and Crosses in a trilogy of books, they deal with issues of racism and prejudice in a strangely relatable dystopian world that of which could be our own world in the future if we don't stop it.
Note: This may contain spoilers of 'Noughts and Crosses'
This carries on a few months after Noughts and Crosses finishes - Sephy, a dark skinned Cross, privileged not only by the colour of her skin is with her baby daughter, whom has a pale-skinned Nought father. Jude, Callum's Nought brother, is on the run and in need of money and will stop at nothing to get what he wants and bring down any Cross that gets in his way. When their two worlds collide, Sephy is put under immense pressure to bring justice to the judgemental world, but will it pay off for her in the end?
I read Noughts and Crosses earlier on in the year before I started this blog, and I was extremely blown away by the strength and power that one book can have - in Knife Edge, the writing was no less captivating and powerful. Blackman deals with some very controversial issues to do with racism and prejudice, and I believe she handles them extremely well, it's thought provoking but not to the extent of being preachy. She deals with the subject in a matter-of-factly way, laying out some of the home truths of what people can be like and how it effects those who it is aimed at. Grief, however, was a secondary issue that was dealt with in this book - it was looked into very carefully and subtly and wasn't overused or blindingly obvious to the extent of being over the top. Everyone has their own way of grieving and with every character came a different way that they coped with the loss at hand.
This novel stripped down real people in the real world to what they have the potential to be or not to be, or even of what some people think but do not voice. It is shocking to know that this type of behaviour does exist and this book highlights and draws your attention to the reality of this growing situation, it makes you step back from your life and view it from a different perspective in many ways.
The characters, however, seemed to be put into slightly outlandish settings which seemed a bit unbelievable with the situations that they were in. It wasn't the point of the scenes however, as it was highlighting the issues of the book but I believe it was a bit unnecessary - Sephy joined a band was the main one and I don't think it was needed at all other than the reactions it provoked to the secondary characters in the book. The few scenes regarding this situation seemed a bit like a filler to me.
Sephy and Jude as characters were thoroughly believable in every chapter that they were in. Sephy's emotions and thoughts were unbelievably well written, it was as if they were a real persons thoughts and you could sympathise with her entirely even when she was being irrational towards people that were just trying to help her. You were able to see the reasoning behind the behaviour she was exerting and putting yourself in her shoes was something that you wouldn't want to do. Jude on the other hand went by these 'rules' of life which are stated throughout the book, he seemed to be trying to convince himself more than anyone else that these are the rules he needed to live by to get on. There were glimpses of another side of his personality which was intriguing to read and it truly made you think that there's always two sides to a story. He was also another believable character because he isn't like your usual bad character and you find him to actually be human. I was glad that Blackman decided to put half of the story in Jude's point of view because you got to see what he was really like instead of seeing him from another persons perspective.Another refreshing change in Knife Edge was the idea of seeing the whole story from Meggie and Jasmines perspective (Jude and Sephy's respective mothers), how they felt about the situation at hand and how they felt towards their family members and how they were each dealing with everything that was going on.
This has definitely been my hardest review to do so far, and even I'm not sure I've done it enough justice, due to the tough issues that are being raised in it. Malorie Blackman is an absolutely superb writer, and this is definitely not a let down at all after the phenomenal Noughts and Crosses. I thought it might be a little bit repetitive to in prequel in the way of dealing with the issues but I was thoroughly glad that I was proved wrong. Absolutely brilliant.