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Valentina, the president's daughter, ventures out of the protected Citadel for the first time with her friends Damian and Pippa. Outside the Green Zone, the island is teeming with refugees who have fled their homes because of flood or fire. What responsibility does Val have to these people? And will she survive the Badlands?

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Most of the world is burning or flooded. The temperate zones are still habitable – and one small island is teeming with climate refugees. Life in the Badlands is dangerous, disease-ridden, violent and controlled by gangsters and terrorists.

But Valentina lives high in the privileged Citadel, at the heart of the heavily protected Green Zone. She is the president’s daughter, sheltered, spoilt and arrogant.

When she makes a secret trip to the Badlands, however, with her friends, Pippa and Damian, she is forced to face up to the realities of life on the island and to the responsibilities her position brings with it.


‘McDermott skilfully links his speculative vision of a possible future with intriguing echoes of the country’s history and, in the process, gives us a novel ambitious in its scope and impressive in its attainment.’ Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times

‘McDermott’s book would in any case be a worthwhile read. But it is lifted out of the commonplace by the skill with which the author gives us Valentina’s first-person narrative. This caustic and profane teenager lives in our imagination, much as does Princess Mia in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. This is the work of an author playing adroitly to his strengths.’ Books for Keeps

‘Fast-paced, well-conceived, excellent dystopian novel, Valentina offers us a world that is not beyond the imagination. Valentina and her friends are realistically painted and easy to relate to. Highly recommended!’
Mary Esther Judy,

‘… a thrilling adventure story.’ Bookfest Recommended Reads Young Adult

‘… this is more than a thrilling adventure story.’ Teresa Doran, Books Ireland

‘… her never-less-than-compelling voice drives the story forward, making a conventional tale very readable and entertaining …’ Bob Burke, Inis magazine

‘ambitious and intriguing’ Inis magazine

‘Sort of Post-Apocalyptic Judy Blume’ Irishhatgirl tweet

About Kevin McDermott

Kevin Mc Dermott lives mostly in Dublin(though sometimes in the United Arab Emirates) and mostly with his funny, smart wife, Mary, their daughter, Sinéad (Roe), and the family cat, Brunelleschi. His son Eoghan and his other daughter Aoife live in the UK.Kevin was a swot in school and went on to study English. He has an MA in English Language Studies, an M. Litt in English Literature, and a PhD in Education. He has worked as a teacher and in teacher education and was editor of the magazine Teaching English.He is always scribbling. RTE broadcast two of his plays and decades ago he wrote and presented two radio documentaries and has written for the radio programmes Sunday Miscellany and The Quiet Quarter. He has published two novels, and his pet project is a film script on a Joe Dolan tribute band. He is waiting for the Film Board to move to Mullingar to secure production funding.Kevin got the idea for Valentina, his first book for older children and young teenagres, when he read one of James Lovelock’s books on climate change. He was so taken with Lovelock’s ideas that he a) went to Italy for three months and wrote the novel and b) moved to a new house way above sea level. He’d love to see a film version of Valentina with Tom Waits providing the soundtrack. Dream on, dream on …

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