Consequence Girl

The Consequence Girl by Alastair Chisholm: A Book Review

Books Entertainment Reviews

Last year I discovered children’s author, Alaistair Chisholm, and his excellent novel, Adam-2. I was thrilled, then, when his latest novel The Consequence Girl dropped through my letterbox. Once again Chisholm has delivered a gripping and thought-provoking science fiction novel for children aged 10 upwards. It’s a novel that showcases an accomplished novelist at the very top of their game. 

What Is The Consequence Girl?

Our story is set at some point in the future, on an unspecified planet. A broken planet, reeling from the aftermath of an apocalypse. Fear and superstition are rife. Townships exist; set up in the broken ruins left by the former colonizers of the planet. “The Glorys” are revered by the humans that they left behind. They are worshipped by “Reverents,” a religious group that forms one of the dominant ruling parties on the planet. The other power figure is an elected governor; elected, but despotic. 

Against this backdrop lives a child in isolation. 13-year-old Cora lives alone in the wilderness with her guardian Seleen. They’re hiding from something, but what? Cora has a power that Seleen prevents her from using. If she concentrates hard enough Cora can alter outcomes. She can change coin flips from heads to tails, dice rolls from one to six, and a lot more besides. 

One day, when Seleen is on a supply gathering mission, Cora finds an injured boy in the woods. She brings him back to her cabin. As Kai recuperates, Cora learns that there is more to the world than she ever understood. The new arrival sets off a chain reaction that changes Cora and Seleen’s lives forever. Cora’s disappearance 13 years ago was marked by powerful people and now those people are closing in. Seleen, Kai, and Cora are forced to set out on a journey that will alter the shape of history. 

Why Read The Consequence Girl?

The Consequence Girl is a wonderful piece of children’s fiction. Its plot is excellent; exciting with plenty of action. As the novel unfolds we watch Cora discover herself and her powers. The world-building is excellent too. We learn about the world as Cora does. I loved Chisholm’s portrayal of government, church, and the resistance movement. There are some observations on the nature of power and prejudice that felt particularly on point to a reader in 2022 Britain. 

Beyond all that, though, are the concepts in the book. In particular, free will and perhaps not surprisingly, consequences. Boiled right down, The Consequence Girl asks the question, “If you could, would you go back in time to kill Hitler?” and I think it gives the most thoughtful answer I’ve ever seen. 

Above all, The Consequence Girl examines the nature of heroism. Cora has extraordinary abilities, that many of us would love to have access to; the chance to answer “What If…?” questions and change undesirable outcomes.

I can’t say too much without spoilers, but Chisholm takes his idea in an unexpected direction and shows readers that heroism is in our actions, not the things we might have done, but the things we go and do. He ably shows his young readers that any of us can make a difference. If we see injustice or want to change things we don’t need to be superheroes, we just need to turn up and lend our support. 

The Consequence Girl has everything a children’s book needs to make it great. It marks Alastair Chisholm as a children’s author that every child should read, particularly if they enjoy speculative or science fiction. 

If you’d like to pick a copy of The Consequence Girl, you can do so here, in the US and here, in the UK.

If you enjoyed this review, check out my other book reviews, here. 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in order to write this review. 


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