In 2011, Cloud 9 released the first follow up novel to THE TRIBE, which was eagerly snapped up by loyal fans, many of whom had waited up to eight years since the final episode of series 5 was broadcast. Fortunately, A NEW WORLD for the most part lived up to those eight years of expectation, so let’s look at some of its best moments, in order of appearance…
(If you hadn’t guessed already, here be spoilers).
JACK'S LEAP OF FAITH
After days of drifting out to sea on trader Zak’s little boat, cabin fever is setting in majorly (Vomitgate, anyone?). But when all seems lost, out of nowhere the Jzhao Li appears, a massive container ship with more than a little of the Marie Celeste about it. This is where the Mall Rats’ story begins to get juicy, and there are so many parts of the Jzhao Li segment that could have made this top five, but I’ve gone for the tribe’s initial boarding of the vessel.
With everyone else safely on board, Jack has to make the jump with nobody left to steady the little fishing boat, almost missing and having to be caught by Slade and hauled to safety. Given that poor Judd had just met a violent end at the hands of Eloise, the outcome was far from certain, so this was edge of the seat stuff!
For me, this is where A NEW WORLD first gave me that Tribal feeling, and was reminiscent of that moment in series 5 where Jack and Lex have to escape the city’s safe zone by leaping across the rooftops.
EBONY'S BID FOR FREEDOM
Frankly, it’s a miracle that Ebony – never much of a team player – survived for so long stuck on a boat with the Mall Rats without murdering anybody. So it was with a knowing smile that I read her break for freedom, making off with one of the Jzhao Li’s lifeboats and riding off into the sunset.
And to be fair, her relationship with Slade had just crashed and burned (but don’t get me started on that), so part of me was thinking good for her.
But of course we do love to hate Ebony so it wasn’t entirely unpleasant to watch her seething while the Jzhao Li sailed away as her own engine sputtered and died, leaving her to be captured by the Legion.
CREEPY TRIBE ALERT
The Legion may be the prime antagonists in A NEW WORLD, and we know the mysterious Collective are pulling the strings somewhere, but it’s the brief appearance of the Fallen who arguably make the most impact.
We’ve seen a lot of crazy tribes in the series but these guys could even give Tribe Circus a run for their money. After picking off the Roaches one by one, they finally return for Emma, Tiffany and Shannon, now with Bray in tow. After chasing Bray around an abandoned theme park (which is creepy in itself), they eventually capture the group and take them back to their resort lair, where one of their number tries to rape Emma.
She saves herself by biting his tongue, at which point the tribe are distracted by the blood, which they are obsessed by (again, creepy). Then their leader, Belle, decides to take a dip in their disgusting, algae-covered pool, SURFACING WITH A HUMAN EAR IN HER MOUTH. Convinced of the creepiness yet?
RUBY'S MORAL DILEMMA
The Mall Rats’ discovery of land is marred by tragedy, as both Slade and Zak are seriously injured in the escape from the out of control Jzhao Li. With medical supplies dwindling, a grief-stricken Ruby suggests that they stop giving medicines to Zak, who is probably beyond saving, and focus on Slade instead, who still has a chance.
This results in a blow up with May – probably her closest friend among the Mall Rats – who has fallen for Zak. THE TRIBE was never one to shy away from big issues, so it’s nice to see that continue, recognising that grief and extreme situations can make us do or say things that we wouldn’t usually contemplate.
In the end, a guilt-ridden Ruby dives into the wreck of the Jzhao Li to get more medical supplies, almost drowning in the process in another gripping scene. While it’s not enough to save Zak, Ruby vows never to abandon anyone again.
HUNTER AND PREY
The final chapters of A NEW WORLD really ramp up the action and it’s hard to choose just one best moment for this list. For me though, it goes to Blake’s game of cat and mouse with Bray, hunting him with a spear gun through the corridors of his oil rig base.
Along with the Jzhao Li, the oil rig is one of the best realised locations in the book, so there’s some amazing imagery as Bray flees deeper into the labyrinth, down darkened hallways, past eerily silent guards, clanging on the metal walkways, until he finally bursts onto the helicopter deck and climbs the tower, all the time pursued by Blake, who at last gets his chance to shine after being a rather two dimensional villain earlier in the book.
If there’s ever a scene that needs to make it to the big screen, it’s this one.
So, there you have it. My top five moments from A NEW WORLD. Do you agree? Or should something else have made the cut? Let us know!