Thursday, October 25

Cave Rats - Kerry Greenwood

The children of the sewers that run beneath Melbourne are feral. Known as the Cave Rats, they turn on, and feed on, anyone and anything they catch in their domain. Tehan grew up as a Cave Rat - expelled at age 12, as is their custom, he would never have willingly returned to the rat and Cave Rat-ridden underground if he had remembered. But the plague above ground was a greater threat.
When Tehan became cornered, injured, and desperately short of water, he summoned help the only way he knew - with his mind. And he was rescued by Healer Gwyn, the Travellers and the Children of the Broken Wheel. Once an ascetic and cruel sect, the Prophet Sarah has brought a New Revelation that embraces love. As one of Melbourne's few empaths, Tehan is recruited to find the child of the Voice. And he has to find her quickly, because between the plague and the old guard of the Wheel, the New Revelation is running out of time.
This is the prequel to Feral, which was reviewed a month or so ago (I didn't realise they were a series until I began Cave Rats), and it fills out some of the details of Greenwood's post-apocalyptic universe. Something called the Three Days happened that destroyed contemporary society, and in its place a variety of microcosms have developed, building on pre-existing communities and ethos's. If that's a word. Anyway, the result is interesting and accomplished, and the changing culture of the Children of the Broken Wheel is portrayed in deft, subtle strokes, all show and no tell. The only disappointment is that I'm reading Greenwood's novels faster than she's writing them. - Alex

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