Friday, 24 January 2014

Review: RATGIRL: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause



It's funny how the sun is so far away, but it's one of the most vital and influential things for all of us. Without it, of course, we wouldn't exist at all. Spend too much time out of it, and our vitamin D levels drop, our immune systems weaken, and we suffer depression. It can burn us, but it also helps us grow our food. We need the sun. You need the sun. I need the sun. But for Jax, the main character from Gayle C. Krause's post-eco-apocalyptic YA dystopian novel, the sun is an enemy. The sun is too hot, the ozone layer too thin, and even minutes outside during the day will mean third degree burns, and longer spells certain death.

In a world where the poor have taken to the sewers and the wealthy have fled to the new continent, a ruthless dictator has taken over the city Jax grew up in, and even though she and her brother were barely surviving, he stands to come between her and the meager existence she's managed to scrape together. While Jax was accustomed to fighting the rats and dodging the sun, escaping Culpepper's crack down on all the city's two legged vermin is going to take more skill and cunning than Jax dreamed.

With echoes of the pied piper and the story of Saint Patrick, the fraternal responsibility of The Hunger Games, and an underclass that puts me in mind of Invitation to the Game, Krause's novel draws the reader in with quick prose and fills her world with every unpleasant detail of the awful world she's created. RATGIRL: Song of the Viper has both momentum and staying power. I found myself reading a few chapters, (I admit it, I do most of my reading on the elliptical these days) then quietly analyzing and speculating through the rest of the day- wondering where they got their water while doing dishes, contemplating the implications of a world without books, wondering at the maturity of a child my son's age if raised in such a horrid environment, staring horrified at someone who tosses a metal can into te waste basket. I like it when a book stays with me and gives me things to think about when I'm not nose deep in the e-ink.

Availible on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
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2 comments:

Giselle said...

Great review, Sandra! This sounds like such a unique story and I love the pied piper aspect that's not something I've come across very often (or at all, really) in books yet.

Gayle Krause said...

Thank you so much, Sandra, for hosting Jax Stone and her unique story. I'm glad to have introduced both you and your followers to RATGIRL: Song of the Viper.

I'll have to get busy on the sequel. :)

Gayle