OASIS is the thrilling coming of age adventure, set in a dystopian universe where personal freedom is almost non-existent and human values like friendship, love and creativity have all but been extinguished. It showcases teenage angst at its best. And yet it showcases real life adulthood at its best too.
In the near future, a virus will drive humankind to the brink of extinction, with the illness spreading faster than attempts to control it, and society collapsing, the last surviving city will become a beacon of hope from survivors.
Walled off from the outside world, this city is christened Oasis.
Governing on a promise to protect its citizens from infection at all costs, the government of Oasis begins to impose its vision of the perfect society: every aspect of life is controlled, and the city begins to take on a new, sinister shape.
Born into this world is Quincy Emerson, a resident of the Outer Sector Dorms, brutal housing institutions reserved for those judged at risk of infection. Beyond the walls of Oasis, however, something is stirring, and events are about to overtake Quincy. Her fate, it turns out, may not be written in her genes.
Eilís Barrett is just 16 years old and hails from Galway. There she shares a home with her mother, three brothers and her dog, Rosie. Eilís and her siblings are home-schooled by their mother, who is devoted to her children finding their passion in life. From a young age, Eilís had a lot of freedom regarding how she spent her time and was encouraged to do what she was good at.
With an insatiable imagination, Eilís watched countless nature documentaries, taught herself to play the piano and devised complicated imaginary games that could go on for weeks. But there was one place where she knew she truly belonged - between the pages of a book. And it wasn't long before her own stories made it onto paper too. Aged just 15, Eilís signed a two book deal with Gill Books. OASIS is inspired by all that comes with being a teenager. And yet there is so very much more in this novel. Barrett may be just 16 years old but she is clearly a very wise, intuitive young lady. Within the pages of OASIS, she has successfully delved deep into the reality of the country she lives in and the people who run it and live in it. OASIS may well be a fictional world but Barrett is allowing us to read and enjoy this amazing work of fiction and yet we can never really escape that all these happenings within and without the walls of OASIS are also happening in our very own world. Illness, cure, corruption, lies, friendship, love and so very much more are rife, not only in OASIS. We all have a wall confining elements of our life, and we all crave to climb over that wall and escape.
In OASIS Eilís Barrett has told the story of Quincy and her struggle to survive. I'm already awaiting the next instalment.
OASIS is published by Gill Books and available now in all good bookshops.