Review Detail

Warning: Thar Be Cannibals Ahead
Overall rating 
 
1.7
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Stopmouth has always deeply admired and envied his older brother, Wallbreaker, for his hunting skills, his ability to speak without stuttering, and the love of Mossheart, one of the prettiest girls in the Human Tribe. Stopmouth's chances of a good match are low, because everyone assumes something's wrong with him because of his stutter. He didn't mind so much when he had the love of his mother and brother, but, after his mother Volunteers herself to be traded to rival creatures for food so that Stopmouth may live, and his brother becomes jealous of Stopmouth's friendship with Indrani, Wallbreaker's second wife, a mysterious woman who came from a Globe, Stopmouth's world begins to change.

Okay, I did my best to summarize this book, but, honestly, it's a really difficult book to explain, because it's so much not like anything else I've read. Basically, somehow the human race has descended to the level of cannibalistic monsters that live off of no food but flesh. Not only do they eat all of the creatures that live within hunting distance of them (Armourbacks, Hairbeasts, Hoppers, etc.), but they also eat other humans. To be eaten by one's family after death is seen as an honor.

Weirder still is the fact that none of these different kinds of creatures can understand the language of any other. Even more curious is the fact that, even if they try, they cannot learn to understand these other methods of communication. All of the different tribes of creatures live in the same ways the humans do, hunting and trading the species nearby.

On the plus side, this is very original. On the downside, I found it nigh impossible to relate to the characters, because they're just so incredibly different from anything I know as 'human.' The way their society functions is completely awful, with the death lottery and the role of females. Caring about Stopmouth and Rockface and Indrani was difficult at the best of times.

Up next on my tbr pile is the second book in the series, which is finally being published five years after book one (weird!). I'm not particularly excited about it, but I'm not giving up on it either. I would like to learn more about how the heck humanity became like this. There were some hints in The Inferior and I think a lot more should be learned in The Deserter about the Roof and the history of humans.
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