Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.
Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.
This is part three in the Battle Ground series. I would definitely recommend reading Battle Ground and False Flag just to get a better overview of the characters and the series. Set in the near future, post-Brexit and post Scottish Independence, this dystopian tale is a worrying scenario. Why? Because a civil war in Britain doesn’t seem like such a fantastical concept after the last few years.
The country is divided and the tactics being used are callous, despicable and often cross boundaries. The two main characters from the first two books, Ketty and Bex are back. Bex and her small gang of rebels connect with a bigger resistance group and end up in Newcastle. Meanwhile it is Ketty’s job to find said resistance groups and in particular focus on how to find Bex and her group.
I enjoy the way Churcher has taken the complete chaos we find ourselves in at the moment in Britain and run with one of the worst case scenarios. I’d like to say it might make some people sit up and reflect upon how damaging the division is and the potential isolation, but I know it will fall on empty ears and eyes.
The use of propaganda to drive misinformation, false facts and malign the opposition plays a big part in the plot, as does the conforming of the law to apprehend said opposition. These aren’t new techniques though, they have very much been in place here and adopted from the US in the post-911 era. Arresting, stopping or apprehending everyone under the new terrorism laws, also equates to the state/police being able to do so without probable cause. It’s an interesting point to bring to the table.
It’s a YA dystopian tale, actually it probably deserves its own genre – post-Brexit dystopia. Let’s hope it stays a fictional series.