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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 is an award-winning author from Crumlin in Dublin City. Mary’s Shadow is his fifth novel. For the last two years Kevin has worked as the Writer-in-residence in schools under the management of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board. Kevin is also one of the writers on Poetry Ireland’s Writers-in-Schools scheme. Kevin is passionate about the importance of the arts in education. He believes in the creative potential of every child, and loves working with young writers.

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