Orca Rising, a young adult novel written by Shoreham Beach author Chris Hannon, has made it through to the final six for the 2018 People’s Book Prize.
Chris is delighted: “It’s a nationally recognised award which publishers and agents pay attention to, so even getting this far is great recognition for me and getting the book to the wider publishing world so I’m thrilled! As the books are voted for by the public, it’s great to have so much support from friends, family and readers of the book too!
“I think Orca Rising grabbed the attention for many people because it does something different with the teen spy genre. The trailblazers in this space in the past have been the likes of Alex Rider and Young Bond, which are indefinite series; Orca Rising is the first book in a cut and dried trilogy which means I can do more with the story.
“Yes there is an action-packed thriller in Book 1: Orca Rising, but there’s a masterplan that takes us over a three book arc (like in The Hunger Games). Writing to a definitive end means you can do more with your characters. Nobody is necessarily safe. Also, I think it has a strong sense of place with the main character, Ocean Daley, coming from Shoreham. A lot of people tell me that they like the characters and like the fact that it is super-readable – which is lovely to hear. It’s ideal if you know a teenager and are struggling for what to buy them for Christmas!
“I feel like making the final six gives me a fair chance. Voting re-opens for a month in April, and the winner announced in early May at an awards ceremony, so I imagine all the other five finalists will be doing all they can to garner votes too! Fingers crossed, and hopefully come April I’ll be able to drum up enough votes!”
The novel came out April 12 from Thistle Publishing and is the first book in a spy-thriller trilogy starring gifted teenager Ocean Daley, a 16-year-old resident of Shoreham Beach who gets recruited into a spy agency with mysterious aims.
Chris explains: “The book is a young adult spy novel about a teenager from Shoreham who becomes involved in a nefarious spy organisation.
“Orca Rising is the story of Ocean Daley, a clever, athletic 16-year-old, living a humdrum life with his mum and her annoying boyfriend until he is recruited to a mysterious spy agency. This is a suspenseful, action-packed YA novel, similar to the Alex Rider and Young Bond series.
“Ocean Daley needs to get away from school, his seaside town and wasting his summer working for his mother’s irritating boyfriend. When his mysterious Uncle Frank offers him a place at a summer school for a select group of gifted teens, he jumps at it. But the school isn’t like any other, with classes in hacking, bike racing, psychological tricks and combat....”