Project Hope centres on the lives of brother and sister Dylan and Lil. The siblings live in the Zones. The Zones is a society that has been walled off from the rest of the world. It is ruled by guards who more than a little enjoy the power they have over the lives of the residents. Also in the Zones are the Hoods, gangs that run riot over these same residents.
Life is a constant battle to stay out of trouble that comes at you from all sides. Dylan has only one outlet, his art. He sneaks out at night to paint his images on the walls that imprison him. With both his parents dead from a disease outbreak Dylan must also take care of Lil.
Project Hope covers a small timeframe, but it moves along at a good pace. I really liked the characters of Dylan and Lil, and enjoyed their relationship. Dylan’s friend Oscar was another character who I really enjoyed. Oscar’s relationship with his father is wonderfully played out on the pages.
It is a well written story, with great description and a good plot. The thing I had a problem with was that there is never any explanation of why the Zones existed. I really expected at some point to be told why the wall went up and why these people were taken from the outside world and placed in the Zones. So when I came to the end of the book I was disappointed that this never occurred.
Perhaps the author Sean Joyce is planning a sequel where this will all be revealed. Project Hope is not a long book at 151 pages, so it is quite good for a quick read. I liked Sean Joyce's style and enjoyed the tension he built as it progressed. It is a violent, gritty story but you never lose the sense of hope that they will make it out in to a better world.