Can the exciting new life in Travis’s head change his past and help to shape his future?
Inspired by her own personal experience with epilepsy, ‘Goalden Girl’ and ‘Abbie’s Rival’ author Tracey Morait has created a thrilling, futuristic fantasy story about Travis, whose epilepsy renders him ‘unclean’ in twenty ninety-nine Britain. All diseases have been wiped out, and the country has reverted to its past in its treatment of the condition when epilepsy was considered to be a madness, and sufferers were locked away in asylums. Travis is sent to Number Forty Institution to live out his days as an inmate, but he’s determined to escape, and get back to his gang, the Rockets, who roam the streets trying to outwit the robot police guards.
Whenever Travis has a seizure strange things happen. He sees bright lights, and a world he doesn’t understand. He is used to a dark, depressing life in a country with harsh laws where the population is ‘probed’ to keep track of its behaviour. The world in Travis’s head is a colourful place, and although there is law and order, the people are happier. Dr Alexander, the institution’s psychotherapist, finds a way for Travis to get to this new world by inducing a massive seizure with an old-fashioned course of treatment, before the institution director, Professor Chase, can perform an outlawed operational procedure on Travis which is certain to kill him.
The new world turns out to be Britain in the year two thousand and nine on a Scottish island with a beautiful beach, a cave, and a pretty young girl called Demi. They all play major parts in Travis’s story. His seizures have the power to take him on a quest through different timelines with Demi at his side, until he must finally face the person he is destined to wipe from existence to prevent his own life from being destroyed.
Whenever someone suffers a tonic-clonic seizure their brain has a sudden burst of excess electricity. Their mind goes blank and time is taken away from them. The idea for the novel is to imagine what it would be like if that electricity could be generated to propel the mind to another place. The author has given Travis back his lost time, so that he has the chance to solve a problem and change his life for the better. He tells his own story as though he’s living in the present day, or what seems to be the present to him.
As a sufferer of epilepsy herself, Tracey Morait has tried to give the condition a profile through the medium of fiction, without wanting to glamorise it.
‘Epiworld’ is a book for young adults aged twelve and over offering action, tension, trauma, mystery, and hope. Look out for it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, WH Smith, Waterstones, Blackwell and all other major online stores around the world from July 2010.