Review: Graft by Matt Hill
on February 2nd 2016
It’s Under the Skin meets The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Fifth Element… with extra limbs.
Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy.
Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognises. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs.
Now Sol and Y are on the run from both Y’s traffickers and the organisation’s faithful products. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over.
Not that there was much hope to start with.
A novel about the horror of exploitation and the weight of love, Graft imagines a country in which too many people are only worth what’s on their price tag.
Graft by Matt Hill is a vivid, visceral dystopia. This futuristic world is dark and dangerous and Hill does not hold back on showing us just how dismal things can get.
Sol is a mechanic who steals cars. But on this latest run, the car he acquires has a little more than he bargained for. Inside the trunk is a woman. She can not speak and her mouth is stapled shut. Oh, and she has a third arm. We come to know her as Y. It turns out that Y is quite valuable to someone and is goods for a trafficking ring. This puts her and Sol in way more danger than if he had just stolen a car. But in this dark and damaged world, Sol is quick to try and protect Y, so rather than just hand her over or ditch her some where, he tries to help her.
There are some interesting things going on in this book. Body augmentation, trafficking, a dark underworld, hijacking cars, etc. etc. It’s interesting, but I think some aspects of it crossed what I refer to as my “weird threshold” (yeah, OK. I am pathetic, but oh well). I read this book, and could definitely see how some others would appreciate it more than I did, but I can’t help that my enjoyment was not where I had hoped it would be.
I think there’s probably the possibility to read some deeper themes in this one, which I normally enjoy. But honestly I don’t think I connected enough to get there.
Audiobook Note: This is the type of book I usually enjoy listening to. But, as noted above, something about this just did not work all that great for me. I definitely did not feel that the narration was poor or lacking, but at the same time I can’t say that there was much that helped me enjoy this book either.