Review: Breakdown by Sarah Mussi


Series : N/A

Publisher : Hot Key Books

Source : Publicist

Release Date : October 2nd 2014


It is 2084. Nuclear radiation has poisoned the country. Society has fallen apart. Starvation is rampant, and power shortages have resulted in piles of obsolete gadgetry. Necessity has driven those who’ve survived to complete self-reliance, if they have the means to do so. For Melissa and her Nan, survival is just about possible, so long as they can guard the tiny crop of potatoes in their back garden and find enough fuel to cook on – and as long as they are safely barricaded inside their home by curfew.

For after dark, feral dogs hunt, and violent gangs from the old Olympic Stadium (now a miserable ghetto) roam to loot and plunder. If they catch you, they are not merciful; so when Melissa falls into the hands of Careem’s gang, her prospects look bleak. But Careem soon realises that she might just be more valuable alive, as a ransom victim. However, he hasn’t reckoned with Melissa’s resourcefulness. Soon part of his young gang are completely beguiled by Melissa and her story of a hidden valley in Scotland – a place that sounds like a comparative paradise, if they can get there. But apparently only Melissa knows the way, and only she can lead them there. But Melissa is hiding a secret. She has never been to Scotland in her life, let alone a mythically Elysian valley there. Can Melissa’s stories keep her alive long enough to escape – or will they get her killed?


TashTash M

Review :


Breakdown was a surprise in a good way and I look forward to check this author’s other works. I was expecting a novel that would be gritty and a story of survival. However I wasn’t expecting the infusion of the Greek mythology as part of the story. This surprise was one I enjoyed a lot and brought this book to another level as it become more than another dystopia with the story and plot.

Breakdown explores the breakdown of civilities after a nuclear radiation that cause devastation of life. Set in the year 2084. London is a dangerous place. Everything we once knew is broken and the world hasn’t improved. In fact it could be say it is today less technology and electricity something we heavily rely on. This book offers a stark reminder of what our world could become in a second. For our protagonist  that has been something that she known for long as she can remember , with her Nan. But in one chapter, everything changes and she forced to grow up and worry about herself.

Surviving is the only thing Melissa cares about and using her Nan’s stories to help and the bees’ story becomes an subtle but important part to the story as she makes her way to a better life and convince herself that there is more in Scotland and the others. She not afraid to stoop down to manipulation to survive as she wants her old life back where she was unknown to the world . Despite being forced into a position where she has to consequently looking after herself and soon Lenny, one of her companions on the journey. Melissa is likeable despite using herself as way to get forward and you have to wonder about her as she wishes for the simple life but she going along with the crazy dream she dreamed as she wants to be safe. The authors plays with on minds using vivid descriptions to describes this world and Melissa and you want to hate her because of the person she is physically. But you don’t because the author creates well round characters and you get to see them at their lowest and their high’s and understand where they are coming from.


This dystopian novel doesn’t created a fully fantasised story for Melissa and the other characters we met along the way. It well developed in all senses and broken down in parts to signal the changes coming as Melissa ‘ Missa’ tries to keep her Nan’s memory live and make a future that is better for herself. I enjoyed Mussi’s story and the journey figuratively and physically Melissa goes through this book and that why I give this book .

4.5 couples



Rating :



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