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The Rule of Claw
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Named a TOP TITLE by Lesley Agnew in The Bookseller. 'Clever, pacy and provocative ... set in an unforgettably lurid world' (Daily Telegraph). A dramatic departure from a hugely talented writer - this is the book from John Brindley we've been waiting for, the book he felt compelled to write. Gripping narrative combined with thoroughly researched, but highly accessible, explorations of evolutionary theory. Breathtaking imagery, fast-moving dialogue and page-turning action sequences carry the reader rapidly through the story. A fight-for-life survival, a battle against perilous odds, a complex power struggle, a search for identity - all favourite themes given a fresh treatment, and guaranteed to draw readers in. A story with relevance to all young people, everywhere.

About the Author

John Brindley lives with his partner in the southeast of England. He has two children, both of whom have been instrumental in the development of his early stories for young people. John is a keen music fan and enjoys playing squash and socialising in London.

Reviews

Gr 8 Up-In this dark, futuristic novel, 15-year-old Ash lives with more than two dozen teens in a fortified beach compound, where they had been left by their parents years earlier. Ash, a champion surfer and the de facto camp leader, is abducted by predatory Raptors, a mutant species that lives in the remains of a human city. While struggling to escape, she encounters friendly, peace-loving rodents, a cross between humans and rats. Their leader informs Ash that her father, Professor Helix, was inadvertently responsible for the genetic mutations that largely destroyed the human race. Following a war between the human/rat allies and the Raptors, the novel concludes with the fragile promise of peace and cooperation among all three species. Brindley's fast-paced novel is initially difficult to follow as it's unclear what has happened to human adults and why some of Ash's friends are showing signs of mutation. The teens' slowly devolving society is reminiscent of William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies with Ash unable to stop her friends from violating their own long-standing rules. In The Rule of Claw, the teens are rescued not by adults, but by the redemption offered by the rats and their own dawning recognition that they can choose to live in cooperation. Science fiction fans will enjoy the constant action, richly drawn characters, and fully realized setting.-Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information

Absorbing...a cutting edge piece of fictional writing - THE TRUTH ABOUT BOOKS

Attempting to mix genetic modification and global warming with intense action sequences, Brindley (Amy Peppercorn: Beyond the Stars) bites off more than he can chew, sandwiching his novel around a heavy proscience, antireligion message. Ash has grown up among the ASPs (named for the "Admittance Strictly Prohibited" sign posted outside their camp), teens abandoned as small children who formed a primitive society based on surfing and vegetarianism. But when she is kidnapped and delivered into the wild, she must deal with warlike Raptors (mutants possessed of sharp claws) and peace-loving Rodents (also mutated from humans). The nearly nonstop action doesn't hide awkward writing: "You are mine to destroy and devour"-that's Ash somehow understanding a look from a Raptor who doesn't share her facial features. A subplot emerging in the final sections that features antievolution religious zealots further destabilizes the story. Ages 12-18. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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